(HealthDay News) — Close to half of all American adults have type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, according to a new report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Catherine Cowie, Ph.D., program director of the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues estimated the prevalence and trends in type 2 diabetes and undiagnosed diabetes using data from U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. According to the report, of the 14.3% of adults with type 2 diabetes, 9.1% had been diagnosed with the condition and 5.2% remained undiagnosed. In addition, 38.0% of adults had prediabetes, but 36.4% remained undiagnosed.

The prevalence of diabetes among whites was 11.3%, which was lower than among other groups. Among blacks, the prevalence of diabetes was 21.8%, among Asians it was 20.6%, and among Hispanics it was 22.6%, the researchers found. Prediabetes was more than 30% in all sex and racial/ethnic categories and was highest among whites and blacks. The highest number of undiagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes was among Asians (50.9%) and Hispanics (49.0%), the researchers found.

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William Herman, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor and coauthor of an accompanying editorial, told HealthDay that “the doubling in the rate of obesity in the United States between 1980 and 2000 was followed 10 years later by a dramatic increase in the rate of type 2 diabetes.” Now it appears that the stabilization in the rate of obesity in the United States that has occurred since 2000 may be associated with a leveling off in the prevalence of diabetes, beginning in about 2010, he said.


  1. Menke, A; Casagrande, S; Geiss, L; and Cowie, CC. JAMA. 2015;314(10):1021-1029; doi:10.1001/jama.2015.10029.
  2. Herman, WH and Rothberg, AE. JAMA. 2015;314(10):1005-1007; doi: 10.1001/jama.2015.10030.