Diabetes ResearchThe best way to prevent or slow diabetes-related complications is by achieving good control over blood glucose levels with healthy lifestyle changes, insulin, and other medications. An estimated three out of five Americans with diabetes have one or more complications associated with diabetes, according to the 2006 report released by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE). Over time, high blood glucose levels can cause damage to virtually every organ system of the body: The central nervous system, vision, cardiovascular, kidney, skin, sexual, teeth and gums, musculoskeletal, cognitive, and digestive systems. To stay on top of your diabetes management and lower your risk of diabetic complications, you should know your ABCs – your A1c level, your blood pressure, and your cholesterol profile.


More than 60% of nontraumatic lower-limb amputations in the United States occur among people with diabetes.In 2006, about 65,700 nontraumatic lower-limb amputations were performed in people with diabetes.

Heart disease was noted on 68% of diabetes-related death certificates while stroke due to diabetes complications were at 16% among people aged 65 years or older in 2004. Adults with diabetes have heart disease death rates about 2 to 4 times higher than adults without diabetes and the risk for stroke is 2 to 4 times higher.

About 67% of adults with diabetes had blood pressure greater than or equal to 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or use prescription medications for hypertension in 2005-2008.

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, accounting for 44% of new cases. In 2008, 48,374 people with diabetes began treatment for end-stage kidney disease. In the same year, a total of 202,290 people with end-stage kidney disease due to diabetes were living on chronic dialysis or with a kidney transplant.

“In 2007, diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death listed on U.S. death certificates.”

Other Complications

Diabetes Research

Uncontrolled diabetes often leads to biochemical imbalances that can cause acute life-threatening events, such as diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar (nonketotic) coma. Diabetes also causes susceptibility to many other illnesses and, once these illnesses are acquired, often an even worse prognoses is made. For example, death is more likely with pneumonia or influenza among diabetes suffers than people who do not have the disease. Those aged 60 years or older with diabetes are 2–3 times more likely to report an inability to walk one-quarter of a mile, climb stairs, do housework, or use a mobility aid compared with persons without diabetes in the same age group. People with diabetes are two times as likely to have depression, which can complicate diabetes management, than people without diabetes. Additionally, depression is associated with a 60% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Source: Centers for Disease Control