Navigation Links
New survey results show huge burden of diabetes

In the United States, nearly 13 percent of adults age 20 and older have diabetes, but 40 percent of them have not been diagnosed, according to epidemiologists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), whose study includes newly available data from an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). Diabetes is especially common in the elderly: nearly one-third of those age 65 and older have the disease. An additional 30 percent of adults have pre-diabetes, a condition marked by elevated blood sugar that is not yet in the diabetic range. The researchers report these findings in the February 2009 issue of Diabetes Care, which posted a pre-print version of the article online at

The study compared the results of two national surveys that included a fasting blood glucose (FBG) test and 2-hour glucose reading from an OGTT. The OGTT gives more information about blood glucose abnormalities than the FBG test, which measures blood glucose after an overnight fast. The FBG test is easier and less costly than the OGTT, but the 2-hour test is more sensitive in identifying diabetes and pre-diabetes, especially in older people. Two-hour glucose readings that are high but not yet diabetic indicate a greater risk of cardiovascular disease and of developing diabetes than a high, but not yet diabetic, fasting glucose level.

"We're facing a diabetes epidemic that shows no signs of abating, judging from the number of individuals with pre-diabetes," said lead author Catherine Cowie, Ph.D., of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), a part of the NIH. "For years, diabetes prevalence estimates have been based mainly on data that included a fasting glucose test but not an OGTT. The 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, or NHANES, is the first national survey in 15 years to include the OGTT. The addition of the OGTT gives us greater confidence that we're seeing the true burden of diabetes and pre-diabetes in a representative sample of the U.S. population."

Diabetes is a group of diseases marked by high levels of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin production, insulin action, or both. It is the most common cause of blindness, kidney failure, and amputations in adults and a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. Type 2 diabetes accounts for up to 95 percent of all diabetes cases and virtually all cases of undiagnosed diabetes. Pre-diabetes, which causes no symptoms, substantially raises the risk of a heart attack or stroke and of developing type 2 diabetes.

In its analysis, the team also found that:

  • The rate of diagnosed diabetes increased between the surveys, but the prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes and pre-diabetes remained relatively stable.
  • Minority groups continue to bear a disproportionate burden. The prevalence of diabetes, both diagnosed and undiagnosed, in non-Hispanic blacks and Mexican- Americans is about 70 to 80 percent higher than that of non-Hispanic whites.
  • Diabetes prevalence was virtually the same in men and women, as was the proportion of undiagnosed cases.
  • Pre-diabetes is more common in men than in women (36 percent compared to 23 percent).
  • Diabetes is rare in youth ages 12 to 19 years, but about 16 percent have pre-diabetes.

"These findings have grave implications for our health care system, which is already struggling to provide care for millions of diabetes patients, many of whom belong to vulnerable groups, such as the elderly or minorities," said Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., director of the NIDDK. "Of paramount importance is the need to curb the obesity epidemic, which is the main factor driving the rise in type 2 diabetes."

The study is based on 2005-2006 data from the NHANES conducted by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. The survey involved 7,267 people, who represented a national sample of persons age 12 years and older. Participants were interviewed in their homes and received a physical exam. A subsample had a blood sugar reading taken after an overnight fast as well as the OGTT, sometimes called a 2-hour glucose challenge. The OGTT measures blood glucose 2 hours after a person drinks a premeasured sugary beverage. The findings were then compared to those of the last NHANES survey that included the OGTT, which was conducted from 1988 to 1994.

"These findings of yet another increase in diabetes prevalence are a reminder that a full-scale public health response is in order. Re-directing the trends in diabetes will require changing the nutritional and physical activity habits of people at risk, and also creative and substantial efforts by health systems and communities," said Ed Gregg, Ph.D., epidemiology and statistics branch chief in CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation.

"It's important to know if you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, because there's so much you can do to preserve your health," said Joanne Gallivan, M.S., R.D., director of the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) for the NIH. "You should talk to your health care professional about your risk. If your blood glucose is high but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes, losing a modest amount of weight and increasing physical activity will greatly lower your risk of getting type 2 diabetes. If you already have diabetes, controlling your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol will prevent or delay the complications of diabetes."

People over age 45 should be tested for pre-diabetes or diabetes. Those younger than 45 who are overweight and have another risk factor should ask their health care provider about testing. People are at greater risk of developing pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes if they:

  • are age 45 or older
  • have a family history of diabetes
  • are overweight
  • are inactive (exercise less than three times a week)
  • are members of a high-risk ethnic population (e.g., African American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian American, Pacific Islander)
  • have high blood pressure: 140/90 mm/Hg or higher
  • have an HDL cholesterol less than 35 mg/dL or a triglyceride level 250 mg/dL or higher
  • have had diabetes that developed during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) or have given birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
  • have polycystic ovary syndrome, a metabolic disorder that affects the female reproductive system
  • have acanthosis nigricans (dark, thickened skin around neck or armpits)
  • have a history of disease of the blood vessels to the heart, brain, or legs
  • have had higher-than-normal blood glucose levels on previous testing.


Contact: Joan Chamberlain
NIH/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Related medicine news :

1. New Survey: Moms Need More Help on Nutrition Information
2. Surveyed Gastroenterologists Indicate That Humira Has Advantages Over Remicade in Maintaining Clinical Remission of Crohns Disease
3. Heartland Information Services Moves Up to 2nd Place in National Survey for Outsourced Transcription
4. Survey could help pediatricians better treat patients
5. Hearing Aids Offer Hope for Those Who Suffer from Persistent Ringing in the Ears, Better Hearing Institute Survey Finds
6. Survey Finds Employers Split on Impact and Cost of Migraine
7. Survey: Americans Love for Financial Security Taking Precedence over Traditional Romance This Valentines Day
8. 2009 Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study Opens Today
9. YWCA Survey Shows Greater Economic Concerns Among Black Women Than White Women
10. AFB Survey Finds Drug Labeling Puts People with Vision Loss at Serious Medical Risk
11. Caffeine Survey Reveals Most, Least Caffeinated Cities
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 2015 , ... CloudLIMS today announced that it is the ... the New Products and Services category for its innovative product offering, BioTracer. ... that helps labs organize data and track samples with storage inventories. BioTracer's SaaS ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... must mark the film for accurate interpretation by the radiologist. The marking utensils ... inventor from Sacramento, Calif., has found a way to alleviate this problem. , ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 2015 , ... McLean, VA., December 1, 2015 - Octo ... sprint agile development contract to support the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's (NGA) IT Services ... engineering, infrastructure, as well as operations and sustainment support to the NGA’s Agile ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... GA (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... supports SACC-GA and SACC-USA through membership and leadership since 2008. Gary ... Chair for SACC-USA . Gary has spent a significant amount of time ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... Enterprise Authorized Technology Provider (ATP) status from Cisco. This designation recognizes Tympani as ... Cisco Unified Contact Center solutions targeted to the high-end enterprise contact center marketplace. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... -- Russia has always been a country ... drugs registered in Europe in 2015 were tested ... Russia has always been a country of choice for ... Europe in 2015 were tested in phase II-III ... has always been a country of choice for global multi-center ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Dec. 01, 2015 ... "Veterinary Equipment and Disposables Market by product, ... report to their offering. --> ... "Veterinary Equipment and Disposables Market by product, by ... to their offering. --> Research and ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , December 1, 2015 ... Contraceptive Injectables, Topical Contraceptives, Male Condoms, Female ... Vaginal Rings, Contraceptive Diaphragms, Contraceptive Sponges, Non-Surgical ... Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2014 ... Transparency Market Research (TMR).The report states that ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: