Living Well / Decreasing Diabetes Prevalence

California has the highest number of new cases of diabetes in the nation1

Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of blood sugar resulting from issues with the body’s insulin production, insulin action, or both. Among US states, California has the highest number of new cases of diabetes.1

Indicator Progress

The 2012 baseline for the number of adults with diabetes per 100 is 9.2. In 2018, we were at 10.4 and hope to reach 7.0 or lower by 2022

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Diabetes Prevalence

Note: The baseline has changed from the original LGHC 2012 Task Force Report due to changes in survey methodology of the data source in 2012.



Current Rate




Indicator Highlights

The number of people with diabetes has increased by 32% over the past ten years.3
Research shows there is a close link between diabetes and low social or economic status. In California, ethnic minorities, the elderly, males, and individuals who are poor have higher rates of diabetes.2,3

Number of Adults with Diagnosed Diabetes per 100, Over Time

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Number of Adults with Diagnosed Diabetes per 100, by Demographic Category

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Indicator: Prevalence of diagnosed diabetes, per 100 adults

Description: Based on the question “Have you ever been told by a doctor that you have diabetes” from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a nationally coordinated, state-based, telephone-administered survey of adults. The cross-sectional health survey provides annual state-level population health estimates for health-related risk behaviors, preventive health practices, and chronic disease and injury.

Data Limitations: Limitations include: 1) relies on self-reported information, 2) provides prevalence, not incidence data, 3) bias or measurement error associated with telephone-administered survey of a sample of the population ( e.g., response bias, sampling variation), 4) designed to provide state-level population health estimates. CDC BRFSS Data Documentation 2016

Indicator Source: 2012 and 2013 use the CDC BRFSS data (using California only). 2014 and 2015 are from the California BRFSS data. This is because in 2014, California BRFSS changed their weighting methodology to match that of the CDC. Versions prior to 2012 of the California BRFSS are not comparable to 2012 and later California BRFSS because of these methodology changes.

Indicator Calculation Methodology:

Data Collection Methodology:

Program URL Link:

Geographic Granularity: CDC provides sub-state estimates using small area estimation:

Reporting Cycle: Annually

Reporting Lag: 6-9 Months

Indicator Source Changes: Because of the changes in the methodology, researchers are advised to avoid comparing data collected before the changes (up to 2011) with data collected from 2012 and onward:

1. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2008, October 31). State-Specific Incidence of Diabetes Among Adults. Retrieved November 17, 2015, from CDC MMWR State Specific Incidence of Diabetes,

2. As per data from 2016 CA BRFSS

3. Peck, C., Logan, J., Malzlish, N., & Van Court, J. (n.d.). The Burden of Chronic Disease. Retrieved November 16, 2015, from

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