Current snapshot of the U.S. diabetes epidemic

Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. As the number of Americans that are older, heavier, sedentary, and more ethnically diverse has grown, and also as improvements have been made in detection, there has been a steady rise in the overall population with type 2 diabetes.1 Also, some epidemiologists are reporting increases in the number of new cases of children with type 1 diabetes.2

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014, of the 29.1 million that already have diabetes, 8.1 million are undiagnosed. There are approximately 1.7 million new cases of diabetes per year.3 In a newer, separate study sponsored by Novo Nordisk, the total cost of diabetes (which includes costs for diagnosed diabetes, undiagnosed diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes) was estimated at $322 billion in 2012, up 48% from $218 billion in 2007, with $244 billion for direct medical expenditures and $78 billion for indirect costs.4 This new study builds upon the costs cited by the CDC, which are for diagnosed diabetes only.3

Currently, there are 86 million adults with prediabetes,3 placing them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, with about 90% of them undiagnosed.5

Despite all of these statistics, there are still gaps in research and data. Novo Nordisk has worked with members of the diabetes community to identify and commission research to help fill these gaps and illuminate other areas of interest for advancing public policy. Novo Nordisk is proud to commission and conduct research that helps describe and measure the problems and challenges the U.S. faces in diabetes.

Diabetes Cost and Prevalence Forecasts

Interactive Map: Diabetes Cost and Prevalence Forecasts

Check out our interactive map of the U.S.

View U.S. interactive map

Diabetes Advocacy AllianceTM

Diabetes Advocacy Alliance: coalition of associations, professional societies, nonprofits, and corporations informing U.S. policymakers and legislators about diabetes policy priorities.

The mission of the Diabetes Advocacy AllianceTM is to unite and align key diabetes stakeholders and the larger diabetes community around key diabetes-related policy and legislative efforts in order to elevate diabetes on the national agenda.

Learn More

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Increasing prevalence of diagnosed diabetes: United States and Puerto Rico, 1995-2010. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Published November 16, 2012; 61(45);918-921.
  2. Lipman T, Levitt-Katz L, Ratcliffe S, et al. Increasing incidence of type 1 diabetes in youth: twenty years of the Philadelphia Pediatric Diabetes Registry. Diabetes Care. 2013; DOI: 10.2337/dc12-0767.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National diabetes statistics report: estimates of diabetes and its burden in the United States, 2014. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2014.
  4. Dall T, Yang W, Halder P, et al. The economic burden of elevated blood glucose levels in 2012: diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes, gestational diabetes, and prediabetes. Diabetes Care. 2014; 37:3172-3179.
  5. Geiss LS, James C, Gregg EW, et al. Diabetes risk reduction behaviors among U.S. adults with prediabetes. Am J Prev Med. 2010; 38(4):403-9.