Undiagnosed Diabetics

I want to consider a group we may rarely even think about. The undiagnosed diabetics who may never be diagnosed or else are misdiagnosed.

According to the National Institutes of Health the Prevalence of Diagnosed and Undiagnosed Diabetes in the United States, All Ages, 2007:
Total: 23.6 million people—7.8 percent of the population—have diabetes.

Diagnosed: 17.9 million people

Undiagnosed: 5.7 million people

That means 24% of the diabetics in the USA do not know they have diabetes. Many of them may never know. Approximately 1 of every four diabetics do not know what is wrong with them. For some of them it may be that they do not have insurance and cannot afford to pay the doctor bills. There may be other reasons too but I think about this a lot and I find it very depressing.

Any thoughts on this matter?


I agree that this is a really important issue!

A member of my family was just diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at a pharmacy that hosted free blood sugar testing. (Well he was diagnosed by a doctor, but the test at the pharmacy made him go!)

This type of free check is a good idea, I think, especially among people that do not get annual blood work!

If these are the figures in the U.S., think what they are in other countries where medical insurance is rare, and medical care is only sought in emergencies!

Yes Zoe, that is a scarey thought! Diabetes is currently number seven in the list of deadly diseases in the USA. It may be much higher than that in countries like India where diabetes is occurring in epidemic proportions.

Many argue that diabetes would actually be much higher on the list, but when people die from complications that are diabetes-related, the cause of death is actually listed as the complication (heart attack, kidney failure) and diabetes is not listed.

Much more action needs to be taken to diagnose diabetes and prevent the growth of this epidemic!

I have posted this topic on several diabetes sites… One person says she thought she was diabetic but waited until she had insurance before she saw her doctor so her diabetes would not be a pre-existing condition and keep her from being approved.

Education on Diabetes plays a major part too. The fact that many people are not diagnosed simply because they do not know the symptoms for early diagnosis…or some just ignore diabetes symptoms(hoping it would go away). Some gets treatment only when they are an emergency case already or may have the complications for it.