Complications of Diabetes
Heart disease is the leading cause of diabetes-related deaths. Adults with diabetes
have heart disease death rates about 2 to 4 times higher than adults without diabetes.
The risk for stroke is 2 to 4 times higher among people with diabetes.
High blood pressure
About 73% of adults with diabetes have blood pressure greater than or equal to
130/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or use prescription medications for hypertension.
Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults 20-74 years old.
Diabetic retinopathy causes from 12,000 to 24,000 new cases of blindness each year.
Diabetes is the leading cause of treated end-stage renal disease, accounting for
43% of new cases.
In 1999, 38,160 people with diabetes began treatment for end-stage renal disease.
In 1999, a total of 114,478 people with diabetes underwent dialysis or kidney transplantation.
Nervous system disease
About 60% to 70% of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nervous system
damage. The results of such damage include impaired sensation or pain in the feet or
hands, slowed digestion of food in the stomach, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other nerve problems.
Severe forms of diabetic nerve disease are a major contributing cause of
More than 60% of nontraumatic lower-limb amputations in the United States occur
among people with diabetes.
From 1997 to 1999, about 82,000 nontraumatic lower-limb amputations were performed each
year among people with diabetes.
Periodontal or gum diseases are more common among people with diabetes than among people
without diabetes. Among young adults, those with diabetes are often at twice the risk
of those without diabetes.
Almost one-third of people with diabetes have severe periodontal diseases with loss of
attachment of the gums to the teeth measuring 5 millimeters or more.
Complications of pregnancy
Poorly controlled diabetes before conception and during the first trimester of pregnancy
can cause major birth defects in 5% to 10% of pregnancies and spontaneous abortions in
15% to 20% of pregnancies.
Poorly controlled diabetes during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy can result
in excessively large babies, posing a risk to the mother and the child.
What is Diabetes
Uncontrolled diabetes often leads to biochemical imbalances that can cause acute
life-threatening events, such as diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar (nonketotic) coma.
People with diabetes are more susceptible to many other illnesses and, once they acquire
these illnesses, often have a worse prognosis than people without diabetes. For example,
they are more likely to die with pneumonia or influenza than people who do not have diabetes.
Diabetes and Eye Conditions
Diabetes and Nephropathy
Impact of Diabetes
Prevention of Diabetes
This page was last modified on: 04/29/2010 01:01:47