Important Facts for Diabetes Prevalence
DefinitionPercentage of Utah adults (18+) diagnosed with diabetes.
NumeratorNumber of Utah adults who reported being told by a health care professional that they have diabetes (excludes women who were told they had diabetes only during pregnancy or those who reported they had "borderline" or pre-diabetes).
DenominatorUtah adults 18 and over.
Data Interpretation IssuesThe Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is the primary source for estimating diabetes prevalence for Utah. The BRFSS is a telephone survey that includes only adults 18 and over.
Why Is This Important?About 142,000 Utahns have been diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that can have devastating consequences. It is the leading cause of non-traumatic lower-extremity amputation and renal failure. It is also the leading cause of blindness among adults younger than 75. It is one of the leading causes of heart disease.
Diabetes places an enormous burden on health care resources, approximately $245 billion is spent annually (in direct medical costs ($176 billion) and in indirect costs ($69 billion) such as disability, work loss, and premature death). (See National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014). In Utah, more than a billion dollars each year are spent on direct and indirect costs of diabetes.
A model using simulated data projected that diabetes incidence will increase from the current rate of 8 cases per 1,000 population to about 15 in 2050 nationwide. Prevalence of diabetes (including undiagnosed cases) can be as high as one of three Americans by 2050 (http://www.pophealthmetrics.com/content/8/1/29).
Currently, about 80 million Americans aged 20 and older have pre-diabetes, a condition that puts them at high risk for developing diabetes. For many individuals, taking small steps, such as losing 5-7 percent of their weight or increasing physical activity, can help them delay or prevent developing diabetes.
Healthy People Objective D-1:Reduce the annual number of new cases of diagnosed diabetes in the population
U.S. Target: 7.2 new cases per 1,000 population aged 18 to 84 years
State Target: 7.2 new cases per 1,000 population aged 18 to 84 years
Other ObjectivesThe Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) notes that the burden of diabetes in the United States has increased with the increasing prevalence of obesity. Multiple long-term complications of diabetes can be prevented through improved patient education and self-management, and provision of adequate and timely screening services, and medical care.
Healthy People 2020 (HP 2020) emphasizes reducing the incidence of diabetes. HP 2020 Objective D-1 is "Reduce the annual number of new cases of diagnosed diabetes in the population."
How Are We Doing?The prevalence of diabetes has risen and will likely continue to rise steadily, both nationally and in Utah. Several factors contribute to this increase. Increasing rates of obesity and sedentary lifestyles add to the number of people at risk for developing diabetes, while improvements in medical care mean people with diabetes are living longer (see http://www.pophealthmetrics.com/content/8/1/29).
A large number of individuals have pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood sugar rates are elevated but not yet high enough to reach the clinical threshold of a diabetes diagnosis. An estimated 86 million Americans age 20 and older have pre-diabetes. Unless those individuals take steps to reduce their risk of diabetes, such as increasing physical activity, eating a more nutritious diet, or losing weight, the majority will have diabetes within 10 years.
How Do We Compare With U.S.?According to the 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), Utah adults have an age-adjusted rate of 7.6% of diagnosed with diabetes, compared to the U.S. age-adjusted rate of 9.3% (BRFSS 2013).
(Note: An age-adjusted rate is an artificial rate used to make comparisons between groups with different age distributions).
What Is Being Done?The Healthy Living through Environment, Policy, and Improved Clinical Care (EPICC) Program encourages people with diabetes to enroll in a diabetes self-management education class. These classes are usually taught by a dietitian, pharmacist, or certified diabetes educator, and have been shown to help individuals develop the skills they need to manage their diabetes.
The Utah Arthritis Program supports Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs throughout the state. (This program is also called the Living Well with Chronic Conditions Program.) This six-week program is available throughout the state at no cost and taught by community members. Information is available from Rebecca Castleton, 801-538-9340, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Evidence-based PracticesDiabetes Self-Management Classes have been shown to improve blood sugar control among participants. In Utah, programs are available that are recognized by the American Diabetes Association, certified by the American Association of Diabetes Educators, or certified by the State of Utah. At this time, state certification is being phased out and the EPICC Program is helping programs that only have state certification receive recognition through the American Diabetes Association or the American Association of Diabetes Educators.
Other Program InformationPackets of information about diabetes, including a brochure describing A1C exams, are available at no charge from the Utah Department of Health Resource Line, 1-888-222-2542.