Diabetes affects an estimated 25.8 million people in the United States. It is the seventh leading cause of death, and a leading cause of kidney failure, lower limb amputations, and blindness. Type 1 diabetes affects approximately 5 percent of adults and the majority of children and youth with diagnosed diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease, accounting for about 90 to 95 percent of diagnosed diabetes cases in U.S. adults. Type 2 diabetes is also increasingly being diagnosed in children and adolescents, and disproportionately affects minority youth. There are also an estimated 79 million adults in the United States who have prediabetes and are at high risk of developing diabetes.
The NIDDK supports research to better understand metabolism and the mechanisms that lead to the development and progression of diabetes; such research will ultimately guide work on new prevention and treatment strategies. NIDDK researchers are exploring:
- new methods to improve blood glucose monitoring and insulin delivery as well as therapies to cure type 1 diabetes.
- genetic risk factors, how diabetes interacts with other diseases such as cystic fibrosis, and cost-effective prevention and management approaches for type 2 diabetes.
The NIDDK also administers the Special Statutory Funding Program for Type 1 Diabetes Research, which is a special appropriation dedicated to supporting research on type 1 diabetes and its complications. More information on the Program and the research it supports is available on the Type 1 Diabetes Research Special Funding Program website.
In addition, the NIDDK's National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC) provides information about diabetes to people with diabetes and to their families, health care professionals, and the public. The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) works with over 200 partners at the federal, state, and local levels to improve the treatment and outcomes for people with diabetes, promote early diagnosis, and prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.