Lifetime Risk for Diabetes Decreasing, But Racial Disparities Persist

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Giuseppina Imperatore, MD, PHD

CDC, Atlanta

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The lifetime risk of diabetes (LRD), a probability of developing diabetes during a person’s lifespan, is a measure of future disease burden that reflects the impact of incidence (occurrence of new cases per year) and mortality. The years of potential life lost to diabetes (YPLLD) is the number of life-years lost due to diabetes, calculated as the difference between the life expectancy of a person without diabetes and a person with diabetes at the age of diagnosis. For example, the number of life-years lost for a person diagnosed at age 20 years is the difference in life expectancy of a person who died without developing diabetes and a person who was diagnosed with diabetes at 20 years of age. 

Both incidence and mortality of diabetes have been decreasing for more than a decade. The effects of those changes on lifetime risk of diabetes and years of potential life lost to diabetes are not known. In this study, we used nationally representative diabetes surveillance data to provide updated estimates for the lifetime probability of development of diabetes, and to assess changes in incidence and mortality on lifetime risk and life-years lost due to diabetes in the USA.

diabetes-insulin-glucose-monitoringMedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: We found that, among US adults aged 20 years or older, both the lifetime risk of diabetes (LRD) and the years of potential life lost to diabetes were decreasing (YPLLD). Women and men had a similar level of LRD. However, men had much higher YPLLD. During 2015-2018, men who developed diabetes at age 20 years will lose an average of 9.6 years of life versus 7.6 years for women. Disparities among race/ethnicity groups persist. For example, during 2015-2018, the lifetime risk of diabetes from the age of 20 was 27% in non-Hispanic whites, 39% in non-Hispanic blacks, and 45% in Hispanics.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Both lifetime risk for diabetes and years potential life lost to diabetes are decreasing in the United States, yet disparities among race/ethnicity- groups persist. Still, about 1 in 3 adults without diabetes at 20 years of age may develop diabetes in their lifetime. Adults with diabetes could lose approximately ten years of potential life. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: The incidence and mortality of diabetes among the US population are consistently changing. Monitoring lifetime risk of diabetes and years potential life lost to diabetes change is warranted. These findings highlight the fact that there will be a continued need for health services for people with diabetes as well as extensive costs to manage diabetes. These factors point to the need for wide implementation of lifestyle-change programs to prevent or delay onset of type 2 diabetes.

Citation: ADA 2020 abstract

Change in Lifetime Risk for Diabetes in the United States, 1997-2015



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Last Updated on June 29, 2020 by Marie Benz MD FAAD