Skip Navigation Archive: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Archive: Agency for Healthcare Research Quality
Archive print banner

New Data Available That Show Relationship Between Diabetes, Obesity, and Chronic Disease

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to for current information.

Press Release Date: January 21, 2004

In 2001, about 12.4 million Americans age 18 and older not living in institutions had been told by a physician that they had diabetes, according to data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Medical research has shown that the increase in diabetes is linked to the obesity epidemic in this country.

Other data from MEPS:

  • In 2000, over $18 billion was spent on health care for people with diabetes.
  • In 2001, adults with diabetes were more than three times more likely to be extremely obese (body mass index-or BMI-greater than or equal to 40) than adults without diabetes, and over one-and-a-half times more likely to be obese (BMI of 30.0-39.9).
  • Adults with diabetes were about one-and-a-half times more likely than adults without diabetes to have asthma, nearly three times more likely to have hypertension, more than three times more likely to have heart disease, and more than four times more likely to have a stroke.

To see these data in a statistical brief that includes bar charts, go to (PDF Help).

Editor's Note: January 18-24 is Healthy Weight Week. For more information on reducing the risk of obesity and diabetes go to An online BMI calculator is available at

For more information, please contact AHRQ Public Affairs: Karen Carp, (301) 427-1858 (


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care