CDC report shows 7.5 percent of Arizonans have diabetes

November 20, 2012

A new report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows more than 8 percent of Americans had diabetes as of 2010. In Arizona, it found 7.5 percent of residents with the disease, a more than 56-percent increase since 1995.

Arizona’s percentage increase was actually below the national median of 82 percent, and far below states like Oklahoma, Alabama and Washington, all of which had triple-digit jumps over that time. But, more recent numbers from the state Department of Health Services show in 2011, about 9 percent of Arizonans had Type 2 diabetes, although the CDC numbers include all types.

Omar Contreras, Arizona Diabetes Prevention and Control Program Manager with the State Department of Health Services, said medical professionals statewide are trying to deal with this problem.

"We work collaboratively to provide a good quality of care for those who have been identified as having pre-diabetes, or those who have already been diagnosed with diabetes or also helping and getting the number of those people or identifying those who are at risk for diabetes," he said.

Contreras said he expects the numbers to eventually come down.

"We have to do primary prevention to identify those who are pre-diabetes, and avoid them developing diabetes later on," Contreras said. "And, for those who already have been diagnosed as having diabetes, I think we have to do a secondary intervention, in which we help them delay the secondary complications."

Contreras said those include blindness, kidney disease, nerve damage, stroke and heart disease. He also said there are likely many people who have the disease, but haven't been diagnosed.

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