What are we measuring?
Diabetes is a disease in which the body doesn't make enough insulin or doesn't use insulin as well it should, resulting in high blood glucose levels.  Diabetes can cause a number of serious complications including heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and poor blood circulation requiring amputation.  While there are no known ways to prevent Type I diabetes, which is generally diagnosed during childhood, Type II diabetes can be prevented or delayed through a healthy lifestyle, including maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthy foods and regular exercise.  Type II diabetes accounts for 90 percent or more of all cases.  On this page we are measuring the percentage of Fulton County residents who responded "Yes" to the question "Has a doctor, nurse, or other health professional EVER told you that you had diabetes?" 
Why are we measuring it?
The percentage of people in the U.S. diagnosed with diabetes has doubled in the last 25 years.  Diabetes is a disease with potentially debilitating and even deadly consequences, yet most cases can be prevented or delayed through changes in lifestyle and diet.  In addition to the direct impact of the disease on individuals and their families, diabetes has an impact on society through increased financial burden, health resources used and lost productivity.  According to a recent study commissioned by the American Diabetes Association, the total cost of diabetes rose from $174 billion in 2007 to $245 billion in 2012.
How are we doing?
The rate of diabetes among Fulton County residents has risen slightly over the period for which figures are available from 8.4 percent in 2004 to 9.2 percent in 2013.  The rate as of 2013 is below the state average of 10.4 percent but well above the national average of 6.5 percent.  Fulton County falls near the middle of the pack when compared to its ten national benchmark counties, well above Hennepin County, Minnesota at 6.6 percent but well below Shelby County, Tennessee at 11.8 percent.