Diabetes is caused by an inability to produce enough insulin or an inability to use insulin effectively within the body. Insulin allows blood sugar (glucose) to enter cells where it can be used for energy. When the body lacks insulin or is unable to use it, blood sugar builds up which can have serious health consequences. High blood sugar can lead to heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and other complications.

Diabetes Mortality

The statistics shown below, "Diabetes as Contributing Cause of Death," are based on the CDC's multiple cause of death (MCD) data, where diabetes was present in the deceased but not necessarily listed as the underlying cause of death (UCD).

Because diabetes increases the risk of other deadly maladies—for example, cardiovascular disease—using MCD statistics can help give a fuller picture of the disease's impact. 

Demographic Differences in Diabetes Mortality

By Gender 

Men are more likely to have diabetes as a contributing cause of death than women. In 2017, roughly 61 men per 100,000 died from diabetes related health issues in Ocean County; for women, the rate was about 33 deaths per 100,000.

Both nationally and in Ocean County, the diabetes death rate has declined for both men and women since 1999—with a much larger decrease for women. In 1999, about 67 male residents and 49 female residents per 100,000 in Ocean County died with diabetes as a contributing factor. 

Use the time-slider beneath charts to see data from different years. 

By Race and Ethnicity

As with most diseases, many factors can contribute to the risk of contracting diabetes, and disparities in diabetes related mortality are also related to a complex set of factors. For example, members of minority groups are more likely to be poor. Consequently, people in poverty often lack access to healthy foods which can make it difficult to manage the disease.

Note: The CDC does not report death rates with numerators less than 20, because the rates are considered unreliable. For this reason, mortality data is not available for demographic groups with small populations. 

By Age

As a chronic disease, diabetes affects the elderly disproportionately. For younger Americans, deaths from diabetes related complications are rare, but do constitute a risk. People with diabetes are also living longer, pushing the mortality data further into older age groups. 

Death rates for younger age ranges in Ocean County were too small to be reliably reported by the CDC. Note that this chart shows the crude death rate, not age-adjusted. 

Diabetes Prevalence

The majority of people with diabetes have type 2, or adult-onset, diabetes. The onset and negative effects of type 2 diabetes can be controlled to a large extent with healthy behaviors, such as diet and exercise. (Type 1 diabetes, a rarer disease in which a person's body does not produce enough insulin to survive, develops independently of behavior.)

Prevalence data comes from surveys conducted by the CDC, so the figures shown here are estimates extrapolated from survey results for the larger population. The main survey collecting diabetes prevalence data is the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Because sample sizes at the county level are so small, prevalence rates for more granular subsets of the population are largely unreliable. However, breakdowns by demographics and other characteristics are available at the state level, for both diabetes prevalence and prevalence of unhealthy behaviors associated with diabetes. 

Use the filter menu to select a set of characteristics to compare for New Jersey, 2016. Data is from the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. For some indicators, values are unavailable for certain population subsets. 

The Cost of Diabetes

The total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States in 2017 is $327 billion, including $237 billion in direct medical costs and $90 billion in reduced productivity. Currently, diagnosed diabetes counts for every 1 in 4 health care dollars in the US.

Indirect costs compounding the impact of diabetes include:

1. Missed work days

2. Reduced work productivity

3. Reduced workforce participation due to disability

4. Household productivity loss

5. Lost productivity due to premature mortality

The cost of diabetes in New Jersey is estimated at $9.2 billion each year and more than $4.7 million in Ocean County. These cost estimates highlight the substantial burden that diabetes imposes on our residents financially. Additional components of the burden of diabetes include intangibles from pain and suffering, resources from care provided by non-paid caregivers, and the burden associated with undiagnosed diabetes.

About the Data

Diabetes mortality data from CDC Wonder was queried based on ICD-10 codes E10-E14. "Contributing Cause of Death" data reports diabetes as among multiple causes of death. Unless otherwise noted, mortality data is age-adjusted. 

Prevalence data for Ocean County was published on the CDC's "Diabetes Home" site. Original data files can be found here. Notes on methodology can be found here (pdf)

Prevalence data and risk factors for New Jersey are from the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

Additional Resources

American Diabetes Association: The Cost of Diabetes