The prevalence of diabetes in the U.S. in 2007 was estimated at 23.6 million patients — or 7.8% of the population — an increase of three million cases since 2005, according to the CDC. Patients 60 and older remained disproportionately affected, with the prevalence of the disease reaching 23.1% in that age group. In addition, the CDC said, 57 million patients had pre-diabetes.
The agency noted that the percentage of diabetics who did not know they had the disease declined from 30% to 25% from 2005 to 2007.
"That is an indication that our efforts to increase awareness are working, and more importantly, that more people are better prepared to manage this disease and its complications," Ann Albright, Ph.D., of the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation, said.
The prevalence of diabetes increased for both men and women to 11.2% and 10.2% respectively, among those 20 and older.
The rate of diagnosed disease varied along racial and ethnic lines, being highest among Native Americans and Alaska Natives (16.5%), followed by blacks (11.8%), Hispanics (10.4%), Asian Americans (7.5%), and whites (6.6%).
The CDC also released estimates of diagnosed diabetes for all U.S. counties on the basis of data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey and census data.
That data show an increase in the rate of diabetes in parts of the Southeast and Appalachia.
Logan County in West Virginia had the highest estimated rate at 14.8%.
Two counties in Colorado — Eagle and Summit — had the lowest estimated rate at 3%.
Having county-level prevalence information is important, Dr. Albright said, because "if states know which communities or areas have more people with diabetes, they can use that information to target their efforts or tailor them to meet the needs of specific communities."
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