Diabetes is a major public health and economic problem, affecting over 17 million Americans and costing nearly $132 billion a year. There are several types of diabetes, including type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY).  These types of diabetes are all caused by complex gene-environmental interactions. Type 1 diabetes, which often results in insulin deficiency, usually occurs during childhood or adolescence. Type 2 diabetes, which often results in insulin resistance and affects approximately 90% to 95% of people with diabetes, often occurs after age 40. MODY is characterized by autosomal dominant inheritance and usually occurs between the ages of 10 and 25. To find out more about diabetes, view the useful links listed below.

Read about the rapid rise in diabetes globally.

Type 2 Diabetes

Family history as a public health tool

The CDC Office of Public Health Genomics, in collaboration with several CDC programs and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has embarked on a public health initiative to evaluate whether family history information can be used to assess risk for common diseases and influence early detection and prevention strategies.

The following paper evaluates the epidemiologic evidence of family history as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Harrison TA, Hindorff LA, Kim H, et al. Family history of diabetes as a potential public health tool. Am J Prev Med 2003;24:152-9.

Selected Documents

Department of Health and Human Services. National Agenda for Public Health Action: The National Public Health Initiative on Diabetes and Women's Health. Atlanta, GA: Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2003.

Expert Committee on the Diagnosis and Classification of Diabetes Mellitus. Report of the expert committee on the diagnosis and classification of diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Care 2003;26(suppl 1):S5-20.

Rosenbloom A, Joe JR, Young Rs, et al. Emerging epidemic or type 2 diabetes in youth. Diabetes Care 1999;22:345-54.

Harris MI. Undiagnosed NIDDM: clinical and public health issues. Diabetes Care 1993; 16:642-52.

Harris MI, Klein R, Welborn TA et al. Onset of NIDDM occurs at least 4-7 years before clinical diagnosis. Diabetes Care 1992;15:815-9.

Fagot-Campagna A, Pettitt DJ, Engelgau MM, et al. Type 2 diabetes among North American children and adolescents: An epidemiologic review and public health perspective. Journal of Pediatrics 2000;136:664-72.

Prevalence of Diabetes and Impaired Fasting Glucose in Adults - United States 1999-2000. MMWR 2003;52(35):8333-37.

Useful Links

American Diabetes Association (ADA)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Diabetes Translation (DDT)
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

Fact Sheets
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics Diabetes page
Diabetes and Women's Health Across the Life Stages: A Public Health Perspective
National diabetes fact sheet: National estimates and general information on diabetes in the United States

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