Diabetes Report Card 2021

Diabetic Latin American woman at medical appointment



The Diabetes Report Card provides current information on the status of diabetes and its complications in the United States. It has been published every 2 years since 2012 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This publication includes information and data on diabetes, preventive care practices, health outcomes, and risk factors such as race, ethnicity, level of education, and prediabetes. It includes information about national trends and, where possible, state-level data. It also provides information about the relationship between diabetes and COVID-19.

Public health professionals, policy makers, state health departments, and communities can use these data to focus their type 2 diabetes prevention and diabetes management efforts on areas of greatest need.

What’s New?

  • After almost 2 decades of continual increases, the incidence of newly diagnosed cases of diabetes in the United States decreased from 9.3 per 1,000 adults in 2009 to 5.9 per 1,000 adults in 2019.10
  • Prevalence of prediabetes among US adults remained steady from 2005–2008 to 2017–2020. However, notification of prediabetes status nearly tripled (from 6.5% to 17.4%).10
  • American Indian or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic Asian people are more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than non-Hispanic White people (14.5%, 12.1%, 11.8%, 9.5%, and 7.4%, respectively).10
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, diabetes emerged as an underlying condition that increases the chance of severe illness. Nearly 4 in 10 adults who died from COVID-19 in the United States also had diabetes.11

Diabetes Overview

Man and woman high five. Yay! It looks good!

Diabetes is a group of diseases characterized by high blood sugar. When a person has diabetes, the body either does not make enough insulin (type 1) or is unable to properly use insulin (type 2). When the body does not have enough insulin or cannot use it properly, blood sugar (glucose) builds up in the blood. Prediabetes is a condition in which blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.

People with diabetes can develop high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood). High blood sugar, particularly when combined with high blood pressure and high triglycerides or too much LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, can lead to heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, amputations of the legs and feet, and even early death.1

Diabetes is also associated with increased risk of certain types of cancer, such as liver, pancreas, uterine, colon, breast, and bladder cancer.2 High blood sugar also increases the chance of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.3 In addition, the average medical costs for people with diagnosed diabetes are 2.3 times higher than costs for people without diabetes.4 These higher costs are often caused by diabetes-related health conditions and resulting hospitalizations.

People with diabetes, their caregivers and health care providers, departments of health, policy makers, and community organizations can help to reduce the risk of serious diabetes-related complications. For people with diabetes, research shows that:

  • Blood pressure management can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by 12% to 27% and the risk of progression of kidney disease by 30% to 70%.5,6
  • Cholesterol management can reduce cardiovascular complications by 20% to 50%.7
  • Regular eye exams and timely treatment could prevent up to 90% of diabetes-related blindness.8
  • Regular foot exams and patient education could prevent up to 85% of diabetes-related amputations.9

Report Pages

Technical Notes

The estimates in this report were calculated by staff from CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation and are available in more detail in CDC’s National Diabetes Statistics Report and from the United States Diabetes Surveillance System. Diabetes data are from the US Census Bureau, the Indian Health Service’s National Data Warehouse, the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study, and various surveys and data collection systems. These systems include the BRFSS, the National Health Interview Survey, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the National Hospital Discharge Survey, and the National Vital Statistics System.

To make meaningful comparisons between states and over time, we used the US Census Bureau’s 2000 US standard population to age-adjust our estimated rates. Age adjustment is a statistical process applied to rates of diseases, injuries, and health outcomes. It allows comparisons between communities with different age structures because it proportions rates to a standard age structure. Three-year moving averages are sometimes used to improve the precision of estimates. State estimates in this report card are based on BRFSS data. Because of the limitations of self-reported data in surveys, these estimates may underreport the rates of diabetes, prediabetes, and notification of prediabetes by a health professional in the US population.

Updated data on diabetes and prediabetes in youth is unavailable.


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  2. Okhuma T, Peters SAE, Woodward M. Sex differences in the association between diabetes and cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 121 cohorts including 20 million individuals and one million eventsDiabetologia. 2018;61:2140–2154.
  3. Dolan C, Glynn R, Griffin S, et al. Brain complications of diabetes mellitus: a cross-sectional study of awareness among individuals with diabetes and the general population in Ireland. Diabet Med. 2018;35(7):871–879.
  4. American Diabetes Association. Economic costs of diabetes in the U.S. in 2017. Diabetes Care. 2018;41:917–928.
  5. Emdin CA, Rahimi K, Neal B, Callender T, Perkovic V, Patel A. Blood pressure lowering in type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA. 2015;313(6):603–615.
  6. Lewis EJ, Hunsicker LG, Clarke WR, et al.; Collaborative Study Group. Renoprotective effect of the angiotensin-receptor antagonist irbesartan in patients with nephropathy due to type 2 diabetes. N Engl J Med. 2001;345:851–860.
  7. Daniel MJ. Lipid management in patients with type 2 diabetes. Am Health Drug Benefits. 2011;4:312–322.
  8. Murchison AP, Hark L, Pizzi LT, et al. Non-adherence to eye care in people with diabetes. BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. 2017;5(1):e000333.
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  10. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report. Accessed February 5, 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data/statistics-report/index.html
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  12. Ahmad FB, Cisewski JA, Minino A, Anderson RN. Provisional mortality data — United States, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021;70(14):519–522.
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  29. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. People With Certain Medical Conditions. Accessed March 18, 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html
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Purpose of This Report

This report is required under the Catalyst to Better Diabetes Care Act of 2009 (Section 10407 of Public Law 111-148). This act calls for a diabetes report card that includes information and data about diabetes, prediabetes, preventive care practices, risk factors, quality of care, diabetes outcomes, and, to the extent possible, trend and state data.

Suggested Citation

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diabetes Report Card 2021. US Dept of Health and Human Services; 2022.


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