Context Although diabetes mellitus is one of the most prevalent and costly chronic
diseases in the United States, no estimates have been published of individuals'
average lifetime risk of developing diabetes.
Objective To estimate age-, sex-, and race/ethnicity-specific lifetime risk of
diabetes in the cohort born in 2000 in the United States.
Design, Setting, and Participants Data from the National Health Interview Survey (1984-2000) were used
to estimate age-, sex-, and race/ethnicity-specific prevalence and incidence
in 2000. US Census Bureau data and data from a previous study of diabetes
as a cause of death were used to estimate age-, sex-, and race/ethnicity-specific
mortality rates for diabetic and nondiabetic populations.
Main Outcome Measures Residual (remaining) lifetime risk of diabetes (from birth to 80 years
in 1-year intervals), duration with diabetes, and life-years and quality-adjusted
life-years lost from diabetes.
Results The estimated lifetime risk of developing diabetes for individuals born
in 2000 is 32.8% for males and 38.5% for females. Females have higher residual
lifetime risks at all ages. The highest estimated lifetime risk for diabetes
is among Hispanics (males, 45.4% and females, 52.5%). Individuals diagnosed
as having diabetes have large reductions in life expectancy. For example,
we estimate that if an individual is diagnosed at age 40 years, men will lose
11.6 life-years and 18.6 quality-adjusted life-years and women will lose 14.3
life-years and 22.0 quality-adjusted life-years.
Conclusions For individuals born in the United States in 2000, the lifetime probability
of being diagnosed with diabetes mellitus is substantial. Primary prevention
of diabetes and its complications are important public health priorities.