Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Diabetes is a leading cause of kidney failure, blindness and amputations, and a major cause of heart disease and stroke. Nearly 24 million Americans have diabetes, and about one quarter (or 5.7 million) of them don’t know that they have the disease. Millions more are at risk of developing diabetes.

Diabetes is a costly disease associated with serious complications and premature death. It is a major cause of heart disease and stroke and a leading cause of leg and foot amputations unrelated to injury, kidney failure, and new blindness in adults.

Every 24 hours:

More than 4,000 adults are diagnosed with diabetes About 40 children and adolescents are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes Ten children and adolescents are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes Approximately 200 people die from diabetes Around 200 people with diabetes have a non-traumatic lower-limb amputation Roughly 130 people with diabetes develop kidney failure Nearly 50 adults go blind

Managing and Controlling Your Diabetes

People with diabetes can take steps to control the disease and lower the risk of complications. For example,

Stay at a healthy weight and engage in physical activity for 30–60 minutes on most days of the week. Physical activity can help you control your weight, blood glucose, and blood pressure, as well as raise your "good" cholesterol and lower your "bad" cholesterol. Talk to your healthcare provider about how to manage your blood glucose (A1C), blood pressure, and cholesterol. Every percentage point drop in A1c blood test results (e.g., from 8.0% to 7.0%) can reduce the risk of eye, kidney, and nerve diseases by 40%. Blood pressure control reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke among people with diabetes by 33%–50% and the risk of eye, kidney, and nerve diseases by about 33%. Detecting and treating early diabetic kidney disease by lowering blood pressure can reduce the decline in kidney function by 30% to 70%. Improved control of LDL cholesterol can reduce cardiovascular complications by 20% to 50%. Check your feet every day for cuts, blisters, red spots, and swelling. Call your doctor immediately if you have sores that will not heal. Also, report to your doctor any changes in your eyesight. Foot care programs that include regular examinations and patient education could prevent up to 85% of diabetes-related amputations. Detecting and treating diabetic eye disease with laser therapy can reduce the development of severe vision loss by an estimated 50%–60%. Get a pneumonia shot at least once and be sure you have a flu shot once each year. People with diabetes are more likely to die with pneumonia or influenza than people who do not have diabetes. Ways You Can Help Prevent Diabetes

Prediabetes is a condition in which individuals have blood glucose levels higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. In 2007, at least 57 million American adults were estimated to have prediabetes. People with prediabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. However, progression to diabetes among those with prediabetes is not inevitable. Recent studies have shown that people at high risk for type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight. You can do it by eating healthier and getting 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week.

Diabetes Education and Resources

The National Diabetes Education Program, a joint CDC and NIH project, offers a wide range of resources around three major public education campaigns, listed below. These campaigns provide the foundation for conducting outreach activities in communities across the country. Each campaign provides a wealth of tools—brochures, tip sheets, provider kits, public service advertising, and more—that you can use to reach out to people with diabetes, people at risk, or healthcare providers.

Control Your Diabetes. For Life Be Smart about Your Heart. Control the ABCs of Diabetes. (a booklet in Spanish is available) Small Steps. Big Rewards. Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

1 Source: 4 Steps to Control Your Diabetes. For Life. National Diabetes Education Program