Over time, diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney failure, and nerve damage. These types of damage are the result of damage to small vessels, referred to as microvascular disease. Diabetes is also an important factor in accelerating the hardening and narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis), leading to strokes, coronary heart disease, and other large blood vessel diseases. This is referred to as macrovascular disease. Diabetes affects approximately 26 million people in the United States, while another 79 million gave prediabetes. In addition, an estimated additional 7 million people in the United States have diabetes and don't even know it.
From an economic perspective, the total annual cost of diabetes in 2011 was estimated to be