Santa Cruz County Diabetes Death Statistics
Diabetes is caused by an inability to produce enough insulin or an inability to use insulin effectively within the body. Insulin allows blood sugar (glucose) to enter cells where it can be used for energy. When the body lacks insulin or is unable to use it, blood sugar builds up which can have serious health consequences. High blood sugar can lead to heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and other complications.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, and accounts for about 5 to 10 percent of all diabetes cases. People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin throughout their lives to survive. Type 2 diabetes, also called adult-onset diabetes, accounts for roughly 90 to 95% of all cases. Unlike with type 1, there are a variety of measures that can help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes for Santa Cruz County residents. They include such lifestyle changes as exercising and maintaining a healthy diet.
Diabetes Mortality Trends in Santa Cruz County, California
Tracking mortality data for diabetes comes with caveats. The statistics shown here—"Diabetes as Contributing Cause of Death"—are based on the CDC's Multiple Cause of Death (MCD) data, where diabetes was present in the deceased but not necessarily listed as the underlying cause of death (UCD). Because diabetes increases the risk of other deadly maladies—for example, cardiovascular disease—using MCD statistics can help give a fuller picture of the disease's impact in Santa Cruz County.
Note: Data for counties with small populations may be suppressed for privacy reasons.
Demographic Differences in Santa Cruz County Diabetes Deaths
Nationally, men are more likely to have diabetes as a contributing cause of death than women. In 2017, roughly 87 men per 100,000 died from diabetes related health issues; for women, the rate was 55 deaths per 100,000.
Nationally, since 1999, women have seen an overall decrease in deaths with diabetes as a contributing factor, while deaths for men have remained about the same. In 1999, 67.9 women per 100,000 died with complications resulting from diabetes, while for men the rate was 89.2. The decrease could be related to a complex set of factors, including differences in behavioral risk factors, access to or taking advantage of medical care, and biological differences.
Diabetes affects certain groups of people at different rates. Nationally, African Americans and Native Americans have the highest rate of diabetes related mortality, while Asians/Pacific Islanders have the lowest.
As with most diseases, many factors can contribute to the risk of contracting diabetes, and disparities in diabetes related mortality are also related to a complex set of factors. For example, members of minority groups are more likely to be poor. Consequently, people in poverty often lack access to healthy foods which can make it difficult to manage the disease.
As a chronic disease, diabetes affects the elderly disproportionately. For younger Americans, deaths from diabetes related complications are rare, but do constitute a risk. People with diabetes are also living longer, pushing the mortality data further into older age groups.
About the Data
Mortality data in this story was queried from the CDC Wonder API, based on the following parameters:
• MCD code: [E10-E14].
The charts in this story show the CDC's age-adjusted rate, rather than crude rate, to account for variations in age-distribution and population size.