Skip to Content

New Study: A Majority of CA Adults have Prediabetes or Diabetes



UCLA Center for Health Policy Research has released a new study today that shows that nearly half of California adults have prediabetes, as a precursor to type 2 diabetes, or undiagnosed diabetes. This study, Prediabetes: A Generation in Jeopardy, models California prediabetes rates by age, ethnicity and county.

The findings of the study are based on data from the 2013-14 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) which consisted of interviews with more than 40,000 households from every county in the state. The estimates of prediabetes are statistically modeled off the data from the 2009-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

This study found that 46 percent, or 13 million adults, in California are estimated to have prediabetes or undiagnosed diabetes, and an additional 9 percent, or 2.5 million adults, have already been diagnosed with diabetes. According to Dr. Harold Goldstein, the California Center for Public Health Advocacy Executive Director, “This is the clearest indication to date that the diabetes epidemic is out of control and getting worse.” In addition Dr. Goldstein said, “With limited availability of healthy food in low income communities, a preponderance of soda and junk food marketing, and urban neighborhoods lacking safe places to play, we have created a world where diabetes is the natural consequence.”

This study estimates the prediabetes rates by county, finding a major disparity across the state, particularly among the 18-39 year-old population. For this population, the prediabetes rates ranged from 26 percent in Lake County, 28 percent in San Francisco County, and 40 percent in Kings and Imperial counties. In addition, the study highlights the racial and ethnic disparities among Pacific Islanders, African-Americans, multi-racial Californians, American Indians, Asian Americans, and Latinos.

According to the study, many people do not get tested for prediabetes because the test is not usually covered by insurance for persons under 45. The lead author of the study and co-director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research’s Chronic Disease Program, Dr. Susan Babey, said “A simple blood test for diabetes should be covered by all insurers, as should the resources and programs that can make a real difference in stopping the progression of this terrible disease.”

Read the full report, Prediabetes: A Generation in Jeopardy, here