- Percent of adults who responded yes to the question "Have you ever been told by a doctor that you have diabetes?" Does not include pre-diabetes or diabetes during pregnancy.
- Percentage of adults who responded yes to the question "Have you ever been told by a doctor that you have diabetes?" Does not include pre-diabetes or diabetes during pregnancy. (2011 BRFSS Methodology)
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Diabetes is the percentage of adults who have been told by a health professional that they have diabetes, excluding pre-diabetes and gestational diabetes. The 2013 ranks are based on self-report data from CDC’s 2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Because of the 2011 change in BRFSS methodology, diabetes prevalence from the 2012 Edition onward cannot be directly compared to estimates from previous years (see Methodology).
Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and contributes to the first and fourth leading causes of death, heart disease and stroke, respectively. There are 3 types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational. Of these, type 2 diabetes is the most common and accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases. Type 2 diabetes is a largely preventable progressive disease that is managed through lifestyle modifications and health care interventions. It is a major cause of heart disease and stroke as well as the leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower-limb amputations, and blindness in adults. Direct medical costs for type 2 diabetes exceed $100 billion and account for $1 of every $10 spent on medical care in the United States.
Studies have shown that the onset of type 2 diabetes can be prevented through losing weight, increasing physical activity, and improving dietary choices. Type 2 diabetes is associated with numerous modifiable behaviors such as smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, and poor diet which make it an ideal target for prevention. The National Diabetes Prevention Program was created to bring evidence-based interventions to prevent diabetes to communities across the country. Additional diabetes information is available at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, the CDC, and the American Diabetes Association.
The prevalence of diabetes ranges from 7.0 percent of adults in Alaska to 13.0 percent of adults in West Virginia. In the United States, 9.7 percent of adults have diabetes, about double the rate in the mid 1990s.
Healthy People 2020 has 16 diabetes-related objectives, which include reducing the annual number of new cases of diagnosed diabetes in the population and increasing prevention behaviors in persons at high risk for diabetes or with prediabetes. For diabetes prevalence by state and education level, see Health Disparities within States.
 Hoyert DL, Xu J. Deaths: Preliminary data for 2011. National Vital Statistics Reports. 2012;61(6).
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). National Diabetes Fact Sheet: National Estimates and General Information on Diabetes and Prediabetes in the United States. 2011.
 American Diabetes Association. Economic costs of diabetes in the United States in 2007. Diabetes Care. 2008;31(3):596-615.
 Knowler WC, Barrett-Connor E, Fowler SE, et al. Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with lifestyle intervention or metformin. N Engl J Med. 2002;346(6):393-403.
 Tuomilehto J. Prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus by changes in lifestyle among subjects with impaired glucose tolerance. N Engl J Med. 2001;344(18):1343.
 Schulze MB. Primary prevention of diabetes: What can be done and how much can be prevented? Annu Rev Public Health. 2005;26(1):445.