More than 25.8 million people, or 8.3 percent, have diabetes in the United States, and pre-diabetes is far more common than previously believed. About 35 percent of U.S. adults aged 20 years or older, or 79 million people, currently have pre-diabetes. Racial and ethnic minority groups, especially the elderly among these populations, are disproportionately affected by diabetes.
On average, African Americans are twice as likely to have diabetes as Whites. The highest incidence of diabetes in African Americans occurs between 65-75 years of age. African American women are especially affected. When adjusted for age, African American women are more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than non-Hispanic whites, African American men, or Hispanics. African Americans with diabetes are more likely to experience complications of diabetes. End-stage renal disease and amputations of lower extremities (legs and feet) are also more common in African Americans with diabetes. In 2009, the CDC estimated that 12.6% of non-Hispanic blacks were diagnosed with diabetes.
As of 2010, 3.2 million Hispanic adults, 18 years and older, 13.2 percent of that population, have diabetes. Diabetes is more prevalent in older Hispanics with the highest rates in Hispanics 65 and older. On average, Hispanics are 1.7 times as likely to have diabetes as Whites. Mexican Americans, the largest Hispanic subgroup, are almost twice as likely to have diagnosed diabetes than U.S. non-Hispanic whites. And, in 2008 the death rate from diabetes in Hispanics was 50 percent higher than the death rate of non-Hispanic Whites.
On average, American Indians and Alaska Natives are twice as likely as non-Hispanic Whites of similar age to have diabetes. As of 2011, 14.2 percent of the American Indian and Alaska Natives aged 20 years or older and receiving care by the Indian Health Service had been diagnosed with diabetes. At the regional level, diabetes is least common among Alaska Natives (5.5%) and most common among American Indians in southern Arizona (33.5%).
Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death in the Asian American and Pacific Islander population. Prevalence data for diabetes among this group are limited, but some subpopulations are at increased risk for diabetes. Native Hawaiians, Japanese, and Filipino adults, 20 years of older living in Hawaii were about two times more likely to have been diagnosed with diabetes compared to White residents. An estimated 9.1% of Asian Americans have diabetes.
- African American adults were twice as likely than non-Hispanic white adults to have been diagnosed with diabetes by a physician.
- American Indian/Alaska Native adults were over twice as likely as white adults to be diagnosed with diabetes.
- In Hawaii, Native Hawaiians are more than 5.7 times as likely as Whites living in Hawaii to die from diabetes.
- Mexican American adults were 1.8 times more likely than non-Hispanic white adults to have been diagnosed with diabetes by a physician.
- Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders are three times more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes.
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