Diabetes is a serious health condition attributing to nearly 14,000 Arizona emergency department visits and 11,000 local hospital admissions in 2016. Diabetes, the sixth leading disease-related cause of death in Arizona, is also a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to significant disability including blindness, kidney failure and amputation. In 2013, diabetes cost Arizonans nearly $8.1 billion, including $3.1 billion in direct costs associated to absenteeism, early disability and death.

To help county health departments, and community partners to advance diabetes prevention and control policies, systems and environmental change we developed and recently released the 2018 Arizona Diabetes Burden Report. The report will enable Arizona and its collaborative partners to identify vulnerable populations who are at greater risk of developing diabetes and costly complications associated with the disease.

The report also aligns activities around the Arizona Health Improvement Plan and build on the strategies, activities and performance measures developed from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) State Public Health Actions to Prevent and Control Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity and Associated Risk Factors and Promote School Health five-year grant awarded to the State of Arizona in 2013. Our Bureau of Tobacco and Chronic Disease worked closely with the Arizona Diabetes Coalition and Leadership Council and community partners from across the state over the past year to develop this comprehensive report. Thank you to the many community partners and Arizona Department of Health Services staff who contributed to the development of the 2018 Arizona Diabetes Burden Report.