Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data for 2003-2005 estimate that 473,000 adults 18 years and older, 7.2 % (margin of sampling error .3%) of the population, have been diagnosed with diabetes. It is estimated that 190,000 individuals have diabetes but have not been diagnosed.
For a variety of reasons, it is anticipated that the trend of increasing numbers and rates of people with diabetes will continue unless measures are taken that are geared toward prevention. Among people at the highest risk are persons over the age of 45, persons who are obese, and minorities. New Jersey 's population is aging. The number of persons over the age of 45 went from 2,594,232 in 1990 to an estimated 3,340,127 in 2005. Obesity rates, as estimated by BRFSS, went from 10% in 1991 to 22.1% in 2005. The state has always been diverse and is becoming more so. The percentage of black-non-Hispanics in New Jersey went from 12.7% in 1990 to 13.3% in 2005; while the percentage of the population that is Hispanic went from 9.6% to 14.5%. The Asian population had the fastest rate of growth increasing from 3% to 7.3% of the total population in 2005. The fastest growing subgroup among Asians is Asian-Indians. That group increased from 79,440 in 1990 to 169,180 in 2000.
According to the BRFSS for the period of 2003-2005, the highest rate by age of diagnosed diabetes was for persons 65 and over. For that group, the rate was 16.7% (margin of sampling error .9) compared to 7.2% (margin of error.3) for all persons over age 18. The survey shows blacks have the highest rate by race/ethnicity. The rate among non- Hispanic blacks of all ages was 12.2% (margin of sampling error 1.3).
The mean age at the time of diagnosis for diabetes was 49 years (margin of sampling error .7) for all persons with diabetes, 52 years (margin of sampling error .8) for whites, 44 years (margin of sampling error 2.3) for Hispanics and 46 years (margin of sampling error 2.2) for blacks. Since Hispanics are affected at a younger age, they are more likely than whites and blacks with diabetes to suffer long term complications of the disease.