The new figures mark an increase from 2008, when the agency found 23.6 million Americans with diabetes, nearly 8 percent of the population. The disease, characterized by high blood sugar, puts people at risk for heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and kidney failure. It's the seventh leading cause of death in the nation.
The CDC also found an increase for what can be a precursor to diabetes, known as prediabetes. Some 79 million adults in the U.S. have prediabetes in which blood sugar is elevated, just not to the threshold considered for a diabetes diagnosis, the CDC reports. Prediabetes increases a person's risk for not only diabetes, but also stroke and heart disease.
The findings suggest a real increase in cases as well as more people living longer with the disease. Changes in how testing is recorded could also play a role, the report stated.