Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause other health problems such as heart disease, nerve damage, eye problems, and kidney disease. You can take steps to prevent or manage diabetes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Diabetes Statistics Report, an estimated 38.4 million people in the United States, or 11.6% of the population, have diabetes. About 1 in 5 adults with diabetes don’t know they have the disease. An estimated 97.6 million American adults have prediabetes, which means their blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

A diagram of the pancreas inside the body and a blood glucose meter.

Many areas of the body can be affected by diabetes. Learn about diabetes health problems.