Majority of California adults have prediabetes or diabetes
Up to 30 percent of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years, and as many as 70 percent of them will develop the disease in their lifetime.
Nearly half of California adults, including one out of every three young adults, have either prediabetes — a precursor to type 2 diabetes — or undiagnosed diabetes, according to a UCLA study released today. The research provides the first analysis and breakdown of California prediabetes rates by county, age and ethnicity, and offers alarming insights into the future of the nation’s diabetes epidemic.
Conducted by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and commissioned by the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, the study analyzed hemoglobin A1c and fasting plasma glucose findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey together with California Health Interview Survey data from over 40,000 respondents.
The study estimates that some 13 million adults in California, or 46 percent, have prediabetes or undiagnosed diabetes, while another 2.5 million adults, or 9 percent, have already been diagnosed with diabetes. Combined, the two groups represent 15.5 million people — 55 percent of the state’s population. Because diabetes is more common among older adults, the study’s finding that 33 percent of young adults aged 18 to 39 have prediabetes is of particular concern.
“This is the clearest indication to date that the diabetes epidemic is out of control and getting worse,” says Dr. Harold Goldstein, executive director of the health advocacy center. “With limited availa