According to a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine (2014; 160 , 517–25), close to 21 million adults aged 20 and older had confirmed diabetes in 2010, and some sectors of the population were more likely than others to develop the disease.
Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, the scientists looked at diabetes rates and diagnosis among adults in 1988–1994 and 1999–2010.*
“During 2 decades, the prevalence of total confirmed diabetes increased, but the prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes remained fairly stable, reducing the proportion of total diabetes cases that are undiagnosed to 11% in 2005–2010,” the researchers explained.
While this data seems to present an improvement, the researchers noted that diabetes was less controlled among non-Hispanic blacks (15%) and Mexican Americans (12%) than it was among non-Hispanic whites (9%).
“Among the growing number of persons with diagnosed diabetes, glycemic control improved but remains a challenge, particularly among non-Hispanic blacks and Mexican Americans,” stated the authors.
* The CDC has reported that “the number of adults reporting diabetes . . . more than tripled—from 6.5 million to 20.7 million”—between 1990 and 2010 (www.cdc.gov/diabetes/news/docs/cdcstudy.htm).