Diabetes is the Seventh Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.

Posted on by NCHS

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and it’s important to raise awareness of this ever-growing disease.

Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugar to build up in your blood.

Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations.

In 2013, Nine percent of adults aged 18 and over have diagnosed diabetes, and more than 8 in 10 of these adults had contact with a doctor or health care professional in the past 6 months.  Also, about 14% of adults age 40 and over who have been diagnosed with diabetes are not taking medication for it.

There were 37.3 million visits to physician offices, hospital outpatient and emergency departments with diabetes as primary diagnosis from 2009 and 2010.

In 2010, there were 635,000 discharges with diabetes as first-listed diagnosis and the average length of stay was more than 4 days.

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Page last reviewed: February 4, 2015
Page last updated: February 4, 2015