Diabetes: Facts and Figures

Quick Facts

  • 2 out of 5 Wisconsin adults are expected to develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime.
  • 1 in 10 Wisconsin adults has diabetes.
  • 1 in 4 Wisconsin adults has diabetes and does not know it.
  • 3 in 10 Wisconsin adults have prediabetes.
  • It is estimated that 475,000 adults and 4,500 children and adolescents in Wisconsin have diabetes.
  • The direct (medical care) and indirect (lost productivity) costs of diabetes in Wisconsin total an estimated $6.15 billion annually.
  • Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

What is diabetes?

According to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugar to build up in your blood.  Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations.

The three main types of diabetes are: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes.  Another condition called prediabetes is almost always a precursor to type 2 diabetes. Modest behavior changes can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in people who have prediabetes.

More Facts and Figures

The three documents below provide detailed information about diabetes, both nationally and in Wisconsin:

The National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014 (PDF, 5.3 MB) provides up-to-date scientific data and statistics on diabetes and its burden in the United States.

The Diabetes Report Card is published by the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) every two years based on The Catalyst to Better Diabetes Care, in the Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act. This report provides current information on the status of diabetes in the United States. It includes information and about diabetes, gestational diabetes, prediabetes, preventive care practices, risk factors, quality of care, outcomes, progress made towards meeting national diabetes goals and to the extent possible, national and state trends.

The Epidemic of Chronic Disease in Wisconsin: Why it Matters to the Economy and What You Can Do to Help P-00238 (PDF, 6.4 MB)

Last Revised: August 19, 2016