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Deaths by diabetes mellitus in the U.S. 1950-2017

In 2017, there were 21.5 deaths by diabetes mellitus per 100,000 people in the United States. The death rate caused by this condition has fluctuated over the past decades, reaching almost 26 deaths per 100,000 people in the early 2000s, and about 18 deaths in 1980.

Projected prevalence of diabetes

In 2014, roughly nine percent of the adult population in the U.S. had diabetes, a percentage that is set to increase steadily over the coming decades. By 2050, about 17 percent of adults in the U.S. are projected to have the condition. Diagnosed diabetes is expected to increase significantly for the older generations and remain more stable for younger people. For adults aged 18 to 44, the prevalence of diabetes is only expected to grow by about 1.5 percent by 2050, as opposed to the 11.5 percent for 65 to 74-year-olds.

Cure for diabetes?

Researchers are helping diabetics put their Type 2 diabetes into remission, where the blood sugar levels are kept within a healthy range. For Type 1, scientists are looking for ways to prevent the immune system’s attack on beta cells, which causes diabetes. These cells, located in the pancreas, produce the insulin people need to live. As of yet, there is no cure for diabetes mellitus; however, scientists are researching ways to make diabetes harmless one day.

Deaths by diabetes mellitus in the U.S. from 1950 to 2017

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Release date

October 2019


United States

Survey time period

1950 to 2017

Supplementary notes

Data for years not listed in the pdf-version of "Health, United States, 2018" were taken from previous reports.
All rates are age-adjusted. Age-adjusted rates are calculated using the year 2000 standard population. Prior to 2001, age-adjusted rates were calculated using standard million proportions based on rounded population numbers. Starting with 2001 data, unrounded population numbers are used to calculate age-adjusted rates.
Starting with 2011 data, the rules for selecting Renal failure as the underlying cause of death were changed, affecting the number of deaths in the Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis and Diabetes categories. These changes directly affect deaths with mention of Renal failure and other associated conditions, such as Diabetes mellitus with renal complications. The result is a decrease in the number of deaths for Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis and an increase in the number of deaths for Diabetes mellitus. Therefore, trend data for these two causes of death should be interpreted with caution.

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Statistics on "Diabetes in the U.S."

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