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Back To Vidyya November 2000

National Diabetes Awareness Month

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. In the United States, an estimated 15.7 million persons have diabetes (1). During 1990--1998, the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes among adults, including gestational diabetes, increased 33% (2). During November, CDC, in collaboration with 59 state and territorial diabetes control programs and other partners, will highlight activities that increase awareness of the need for persons with diabetes to receive influenza vaccine and of the growing public health problem of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents.

Persons with diabetes should receive pneumococcal and annual influenza vaccinations because they are more likely than persons without diabetes to die with complications of influenza and pneumonia (3). In 1997, only approximately half of persons with diabetes received an annual influenza vaccination, and only one third received pneumococcal vaccine (4).

Type 2 diabetes among children and adolescents appears to be a growing public health problem among American Indians/Alaska Natives and other North American ethnic populations (5). Although diabetes in children has typically been assumed to be type 1 diabetes, recent clinical case series have indicated that type 2 diabetes is emerging among black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and white children and may account for 8%--45% of the new cases of childhood diabetes (6).

CDC is developing population-based registries of childhood diabetes to study prevalence, incidence, natural history, and quality of care. The study will help identify future program and intervention activities.

Information about diabetes is available from CDC, by telephone (877) 232-3422; e-mail,; or the World-Wide Web,


  1. CDC. National diabetes fact sheet: national estimates and general information on diabetes in the United States. Atlanta, Georgia: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, 1998.
  2. Mokdad AH, Ford ES, Bowman BA, et al. Diabetes trends in the U.S.: 1990--1998. Diabetes Care 2000;23:1278--83.
  3. Geiss LS, Thompson TJ. Are persons with diabetes more likely to die from influenza and pneumonia? Diabetes 1995;44:124.
  4. CDC. Influenza and pneumococcal vaccination rates among persons with diabetes mellitus---United States, 1997. MMWR 1999;48:961--7.
  5. Fagot-Campagna A, Pettitt DJ, Engelgau MM, et al. Type 2 diabetes among North American children and adolescents: an epidemiological review and a public health perspective. J Pediatr 2000;136:664--72.
  6. American Diabetes Association. Type 2 diabetes in children: consensus conference. Diabetes Care 2000;23:381--9.

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Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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