US survey shows the prevalence of diabetes

by Barbara Hewitt on December 31, 2013

A survey of millions of people in the United States who have private health insurance has found that about 8.8% had diabetes or were at a high risk of developing the condition in 2012.

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In 2012, some 9.1% of men and 8.4% of women were identified as having diagnosed diabetes, pre-diabetes, and gestational diabetes

The survey is being hailed as significant because of the sheer number of people it covered, thus enabling researchers to be able to track the prevalence of the chronic disease.

The 2012 figure is up from 8.3% in 2011 but the research report from HCCI, points out the rates of the disease varied depending on age, gender and region of the country.

In the 2012 survey over one quarter of men between the ages of 55 and 64 and nearly one in 10 Southerners had diabetes or were at risk of developing diabetes.

HCCI analyzed the health care claims of over 40 million Americans with employer sponsored health insurance (ESI) and examined subpopulations by age, gender, and region. It identified individuals with diabetes as those diagnosed with the condition and those diagnosed with gestational diabetes or pre-diabetes.

‘This is the first time we’ve used our repository of claims data to track the prevalence of chronic disease among the privately insured,’ said David Newman, executive director of HCCI.

‘While using claims data for public health surveillance purposes has some limitations, it provides a timely way to track emerging trends and can inform policymakers, providers, and patients alike,’ he explained.

The details show that 6.4% of the privately insured had diabetes or were at high risk of developing diabetes in 2008. By 2012, the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes, pre-diabetes, and gestational diabetes reached 8.8%.

It also found that diabetes was most prevalent in older adults. In 2012, the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes, pre-diabetes, and gestational diabetes was 14.3% among privately insured adults ages 45 to 54, and 26.3% among adults aged 55 to 64.

In 2012, some 9.1% of men and 8.4% of women were identified as having diagnosed diabetes, pre-diabetes, and gestational diabetes. Compared to men of the same age, women between the ages of 19 and 44 had higher prevalence. However, after age 45, the prevalence rates for men rapidly outpaced that of women.

Prevalence was highest in the Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic, and East South Central census divisions, where nearly 10% of people with employer sponsored insurance were diagnosed with diabetes, pre-diabetes, and gestational diabetes in 2012. Prevalence was lowest in the Mountain, Pacific, and New England census divisions.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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