Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely than adults without diabetes to have heart disease or experience a stroke, and people with diabetes are much more likely than those without diabetes to require hospitalization during any given year.
Increases in rates of diabetes among adults have been described by the Centers for Disease Control as a major public health threat. Major reasons why the rate of diabetes is increasing include the aging of the population and increases in levels of obesity. However, despite the association of diabetes with older age, it can be prevented, or at least delayed, by exercise, good nutrition, and other healthy lifestyle choices.