New York State Department of Health Recognizes World Diabetes Day: Highlighting the Importance of Screening for A Disease Devastating Millions

Diabetes is the 7th Leading Cause of Death in New York State

NYSDOH joins American Diabetes Association in recommending providers use blood glucose testing for all adults over 35, and for younger New Yorkers with risk factors, to expand access to early detection

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ALBANY, N.Y. (November 14, 2022) – The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), along with health organizations around the world, today recognizes World Diabetes Day with a focus on access to education, prevention, and affordable diagnostics and care. To expand access to early detection, NYSDOH joins the American Diabetes Association (ADA) in recommending providers use blood glucose testing for all adults over 35 years and younger New Yorkers with risk factors.

Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in both the United States and New York, impacting 1.6 million New Yorkers – 10.3 percent of the State's population. Year over year, the percentage of New York adults living with diabetes continues to increase, from 6.3 percent in 2000 to 10.3 percent in 2020.

"Like many other diseases, diabetes represents society's failure to ensure everyone's right to health education, healthy foods, and affordable, high-quality diagnostics and care," New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said. "On World Diabetes Day, the Department remains unwavering in our commitment to reduce disease burden, particularly among Blacks and Hispanics who are disproportionately affected by diabetes; increase access to early detection mechanisms; and improve the lives of every New Yorker devastated by this disease."

Based on NYSDOH's 2020 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) brief*, an annual telephone survey conducted among New York adults, diabetes rates have increased significantly over the past two decades. The disease has contributed to reductions in quality of life for over 1.6 million New Yorkers and resulted in significant costs to government, employers, and residents. Without sweeping changes‚ the number of diagnosed diabetes cases nationwide is expected to increase from 39.7 million (13.9 percent) in 2030 and to 60.6 million (17.9 percent) in 2060.

According to data from the brief, in New York State, diagnosed diabetes is most prevalent among Black (15.1 percent) and Hispanic (12.1 percent) adults. By comparison, prevalence for white, non-Hispanic adults is only 8.3 percent.

Prediabetes, a condition in which a person's blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes, affects 4.5 million New Yorkers and more than 38 percent (96 million) of adults nationwide. A second BRFSS brief** also found diagnosed prediabetes to be more common among older adults, Black non-Hispanic adults, adults living with a disability, and adults living in New York City. Despite these alarming figures, health officials estimate that 90 percent of those with prediabetes are unaware they have it. Without a diagnosis, preventative lifestyle changes, and treatment, roughly 15 – 30 percent of people with prediabetes develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years.

This stark situation can be reversed. The onset of type 2 diabetes can be delayed or even prevented through early detection and modest lifestyle changes, including regular exercise. To accomplish this, NYSDOH joins the American Diabetes Association (ADA) in encouraging health care providers to screen all adults 35 years and older for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Screening should begin earlier for adults with additional risk factors including being overweight, obesity, hypertension, elevated blood cholesterol, or a family history.

Expanding education about diabetes prevention, testing, and treatment, later this month, NYSDOH will be launching a public awareness campaign to reach Black and Hispanic adults in ten upstate counties.

To prevent or delay type 2 diabetes, NYSDOH recommends New Yorkers engage in CDC's National Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle change program, available in multiple languages. Participation in the program is a covered benefit for all New York State Medicaid enrollees as well as for those with Medicare.

NYSDOH has free, multi-language resources available for New Yorkers to assess their risk for prediabetes and prevent or delay disease:

  1. Take the online risk test
  2. Watch the Prediabetes video
  3. Find a prevention program near you at CDC Diabetes Prevention Programs
  4. Health care providers can visit the American Medical Association and the Centers for Disease Control Prevent Diabetes STAT Toolkit

For more information, visit

*About NYSDOH's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) brief: Diagnosed Diabetes, New York State Adults, 2020

**About NYSDOH's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) brief: The Prevalence of Diagnosed Prediabetes and Testing for High Blood Sugar, New York State Adults, 2020

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is an annual telephone survey of adults developed by the CDC conducted in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories. The New York BRFSS is administered by NYSDOH to provide statewide and regional information on behaviors, risk factors, and use of preventive health services related to the leading causes of chronic and infectious diseases, disability, injury, and death.