Heart Disease: Heart disease is the leading cause of diabetes-related deaths. Adults with diabetes have heart disease death rates about 2 to 4 times as high as those of adults without diabetes.
Stroke: The risk of stroke is 2 to 4 times higher in people with diabetes.
High Blood Pressure: An estimated 73 percent of people with diabetes have high blood pressure greater than or equal to 130/80 mm Hg.
Blindness: Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults 20 to 74 years old. Diabetic retinopathy causes from 12,000 to 24,000 new cases of blindness each year.
Kidney Disease: Diabetes is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease, accounting for about 44 percent of new cases. 44,400 people with diabetes developed end-stage renal disease in 2002. In 2002, a total of 153,730 people with diabetes underwent dialysis or kidney transplantation.
Nervous System Disease: About 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nervous system damage (which often includes impaired sensation or pain in the feet or hands, slowed digestion of food in the stomach, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other nerve problems). Severe forms of diabetic nerve disease are a major contributing cause of lower extremity amputations.
Amputations: More than 60 percent of non-traumatic lower limb amputations in the United States occur among people with diabetes. In 2001, about 82,000 amputations were performed each year among people with diabetes.
Dental Disease: Periodontal disease (a type of gum disease that can lead to tooth loss) occurs with greater frequency and severity among people with diabetes. Almost 1/3 of people with diabetes, 7.8 million people, have sever periodontal disease with loss of teeth attached to gums.
Complications Of Pregnancy: The rate of major congenital malformations in babies born to women with preexisting diabetes varies from 5 to 10 percent among women who receive preconception care to 15 to 20 percent among women who do not receive preconception care. Between 15 and 20 percent of pregnancies among women with diabetes result in death of the newborn.
Other Complications: Diabetes can directly cause acute life-threatening events, such as Diabetic Ketoacidosis* and Hyperosmolar Nonketotic Coma.* People with diabetes are more susceptible to many other illnesses. For example, they are more likely to die of pneumonia or influenza than people who do not have diabetes.
*Diabetic Ketoacidosis and Hyperosmolar Nonketotic Coma are medical conditions that can result from biochemical imbalance in uncontrolled diabetes.