Epidemiology of Diabetes and its Burden in the World and in the United States

  • Daniel S. DonovanJr.


An epidemic is defined as an increase in the usual or expected number of cases of a disease in a population. The increase in the number of cases of diabetes that the world has experienced and continues to experience certainly qualifies as epidemic. Diabetes mellitus is a growing public health problem throughout the world and in the U. S.1 The disease and its attendant morbidity and mortality exact huge personal, public and economic costs.2 This chapter will review current knowledge regarding the distribution and determinants of diabetes throughout the world and the U.S. Two terms used and confused frequently in epidemiological discussions of disease are incidence and prevalence and a review of their definitions may be useful. Prevalence is defined as the number of affected persons present in the population at a specific time divided by the number of persons in the population at that time and is a measure of the burden of disease in a population. Incidence, on the other hand, is the number of new cases of disease that occur during a specified time in a population and represents the risk for developing the disease.


Gestational Diabetes MELLITUS Gestational Diabetes Impaired Fasting Glucose Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Undiagnosed Diabetes 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

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  • Daniel S. DonovanJr.

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