Diabetes is a serious health condition and a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to significant disability, including blindness, amputations, and kidney failure. Over 2.3 million California adults report having been diagnosed with diabetes, representing one out of every 12 adult Californians. The vast majority of diabetes cases in California are type 2, representing 1.9 million adults. The prevalence increases with age—one out of every six adult Californians aged 65 and above have type 2 diabetes—and is higher among ethnic/racial minorities and Californians with low education attainment and/or family income. Compared with non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanics and African Americans have twice the prevalence of type 2 diabetes and are twice as likely to die from their disease.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has a number of ongoing activities that support the primary prevention of diabetes through the promotion of healthy eating, increased physical activity, tobacco cessation, and the prevention and control of overweight and obesity. Secondary prevention activities focus on evidence-based strategies to prevent or delay the onset of complications among Californians diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. CDPH is establishing a statewide network of evidence-based lifestyle change programs that are designed to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes among people at highest risk and prevent or delay the onset of complications among people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.