November 6, 2012

Contact: Lulu Todorov (215.825.8202 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Risk Factors and Diabetes Prevalence Among Adults in Southeastern Pennsylvania Are Examined

PHILADELPHIA — In recognition of November as American Diabetes Month, researchers at Public Health Management Corporation’s (PHMC) Community Health Data Base (CHDB) released data on the prevalence of diabetes and risk factors among adults in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The data used in the analysis came from PHMC’s CHDB 2010 Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey. Researchers found that in Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA), over the past 20 years, there has been a steady increase in diabetes among adults.

Diabetes affects approximately 26 million Americans or 8.3% of the U.S. population.* In recent years there has been a sharp increase in the disease’s prevalence in the U.S and in SEPA. According to CHDB findings, approximately 11% of adults ages 18 and over in SEPA have ever been diagnosed with diabetes, representing approximately 325,700 adults in the region. CHDB staff examined the findings of the 2010 Household Health Survey to better understand the demographic, socioeconomic and access-to-care disparities that affect adults diagnosed with diabetes.

Demographic and Socioeconomic Characteristics

• Non-Latino black adults (16.3%) are more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than Latinos (9.6%), whites (9.5%) and Asians (8.9%).

• Adults living in poverty are more likely to have diabetes; approximately 17% of adults living below 100% of the federal poverty level have diabetes compared with 10% of non-poor adults.**

• Obesity and high blood pressure are correlated with diabetes. Adults who are obese are nearly five times more likely to have diabetes than those with a normal weight (21.4% compared with 4.3%, respectively). Similarly, adults with high blood pressure are five times more likely to have diabetes compared with adults who do not have high blood pressure (24.1% compared to 4.8%, respectively).

Access to Care Characteristics

• The majority of adults with diagnosed diabetes have a regular source of care (93.0%). This is a higher percentage than adults without diabetes (89.1%).

• However, adults diagnosed with diabetes are less likely to go to a doctor’s office as a regular source of care (81%) compared with adults who do not have diabetes (87%). Adults with diabetes are more likely to go to a community health center (7.5%), hospital outpatient clinic (7.2%) or emergency room (7.2%) than adults without diabetes.

• Of uninsured adults, those diagnosed with diabetes are more likely to have visited an emergency room in the last year than uninsured adults who do not have diabetes (55.3% compared with 44.7%).

The large number of adults diagnosed with diabetes in Southeastern Pennsylvania illustrates that diabetes has quickly become a rising regional health concern, which matches national trends. The demographic and socioeconomic disparities among those diagnosed with diabetes also illustrate the need for targeted prevention among poor, black and Latino populations.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey collects data, including information about diabetes diagnoses among many critical topics, from a random landline and cell phone telephone survey conducted with 10,000 households in the five-county Southeastern Pennsylvania region of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties.

For more information about the study findings, contact Amy Clark at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

* National Diabetes Education Program. (2012) The Facts About Diabetes: A leading cause of death in the U.S. Retrieved online on October 10, 2012 at

**Poverty level is calculated based on family size and income. For example, a family of four with an annual income of less than $33,075 in 2009 was considered living below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level.


About CHDB

Public Health Management Corporation’s Community Health Data Base Household Health Survey is one of the largest regional health surveys in the country. The Pew Charitable Trusts, William Penn Foundation, United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, United Way of North Penn, CIGNA Foundation, Green Tree Community Health Foundation, North Penn Community Health Foundation, Thomas Scattergood Foundation and over 350 local agencies from the health, government, nonprofit and academic sectors help to support CHDB. To view previous data news releases, please click here. For more information, or to access key findings from previous years, please visit

About PHMC

Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) is a nonprofit public health institute that creates and sustains healthier communities. PHMC uses best practices to improve community health through direct service, partnership, innovation, policy, research, technical assistance and a prepared workforce. PHMC has served the region since 1972. For more information on PHMC, visit