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All the numbers you should know this Diabetes Alert Day

If you’re at risk of developing Type 2, there’s no better time than now to turn things around

A woman looking like she's about to exercise.
A woman looking like she's about to exercise. (Nathan Cowley/Pexels stock image)

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Raise your hand if you have a friend or family member living with diabetes.

Regardless of whether it’s Type 1 or Type 2, it’s safe to assume we all know a person, or perhaps a handful of people, dealing with this disease -- which, for some people, is only manageable and not curable.

Have you ever wondered just how prevalent diabetes really is?

In honor of Diabetes Alert Day, which is March 27, we thought we’d take a look at the numbers. Although Type 1 is an autoimmune disease, meaning you can’t do much to prevent it or beat it, Type 2 is absolutely tied to nutrition, fitness and lifestyle. Without further ado ...

Diabetes, by the numbers

  • In 2018, 34.2 million Americans, or 10.5% of the population, had diabetes.
  • Nearly 1.6 million Americans have type 1 diabetes, including about 187,000 children and adolescents.
  • 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year.
  • Diabetes was the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States in 2017 based on the 83,564 death certificates in which diabetes was listed as the underlying cause of death. In 2017, diabetes was mentioned as a cause of death in a total of 270,702 certificates.
  • Diabetes may be underreported as a cause of death. Studies have found that only about 35% to 40% of people with diabetes who died had diabetes listed anywhere on the death certificate and about 10% to 15% had it listed as the underlying cause of death.
  • $327 billion: The total cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States in 2017
  • $237 billion: The cost for direct medical costs
  • After adjusting for population age and sex differences, average medical expenditures among people with diagnosed diabetes were 2.3 times higher than what expenditures would be in the absence of diabetes.

Source: American Diabetes Association

Those numbers are high.

If you’re at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, there’s no better time than the present to turn things around. Start here to learn more about A1C, take a risk test or find out your Body Mass Index.


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