The Center for Disease Control in the United States is calling diabetes "an emerging epidemic." In 2002 the Center for Disease Control and the National Institute of Health has said that of United States residents a staggering
17 million are suffering from diabetes. About 10 percent of the estimated 170 million people that have diabetes worldwide. Approximately another 16 million people in the United States have impaired glucose tolerance, a condition that is a forerunner of type 2 diabetes, or pre-diabetes. There are far to many people that remain dangerously unaware of the condition and the consequences.
Type 1 diabetes affects around 5 to 10 percent of the diabetic population. It is much more common in whites than in non-caucasian ethic or racial populations such as African Americans, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders. In type 1 diabetes, the starting of elevated blood sugar levels normally begins abruptly in a fairly dramatic way, before age 30. Almost half of all cases of type 1 diabetes appear during childhood, with a peak incidence between 12 and 14 years of age.
90 to 95 percent of the total diabetes population in the United States is made up of type 2 diabetes. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. It is believed that up to half of the people are unaware of their condition. Blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes do not normally rise or fall as rapidly as seen in type 1 diabetes, and ketoacidosis is very rare. In type 2 diabetes, the beta cells still manufacture and release insulin in response to dietary needs, but not enough is to keep blood sugar within the normal range. Generally, though, there is enough insulin to move enough glucose into the cells to prevent the development of ketoacidosis.
Diabetes also comes with an incredible price tag. According the the American Diabetes Association, the disease costs Americans 132 billion dollars annually in medical expenses and lost productivity. It is estimated that over $24 billion of those costs are chronic diabetic complication expenses.