Diabetes is a chronic disease and a growing health issue.




adults have diabetes


leading cause of death

Approximately 415 million adults worldwide have diabetes, and it is the eighth leading cause of death worldwide.

Diabetes Basics

Understanding the diabetes risk factors and adopting healthy habits can help people reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes and help people with diabetes effectively manage the disease.

Diabetes is a lifelong (chronic) disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin – a hormone that regulates blood sugar (glucose) – or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. This leads to an increased concentration of glucose in the blood, which, over time, can lead to serious complications such as heart disease and stroke, vision loss, kidney failure and lower-limb amputations.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is characterized by a lack of insulin production.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is also caused by the body’s ineffective use of insulin and often results from excess body weight and physical inactivity. It is also the most common form of diabetes – 90 percent of people with diabetes around the world have type 2 diabetes.


Prediabetes is a serious health condition that increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. A person with prediabetes has a blood sugar level higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Although an estimated 1 of every 3 U.S. adults had prediabetes in 2010, the vast majority of people living with prediabetes do not know they have it.

It's Personal

Sometimes I'm still surprised when I think about my diagnosis. My name is Karen Bachert, and I have type 2 diabetes.

Read Karen's Story

People with type 2 diabetes should set individual goals to manage the ABCs of diabetes:

Know the Tests: Self-Monitoring Blood Sugar and A1C

People with type 2 diabetes need both blood sugar self-tests and A1C tests to help them and their doctors understand their blood sugar control because these tests measure blood sugar in different ways. Self-tests show a person with type 2 diabetes his or her blood sugar level at the time of the test. The A1C test shows average blood sugar levels over a two to three month period. Both tests will help people with type 2 diabetes and their doctors set goals that are right for them.

The Prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes

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