Diabetes tops the list for data searches on AskCHIS and AskCHIS Neighborhood Edition.

Here’s why: More than 3.2 million Californians have been diagnosed with diabetes — nearly 90% of them with preventable Type II diabetes. Researchers at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR) have investigated the prevalence, management, and impact of diabetes in California, focusing on the social and environmental influences; racial, ethnic, gender, and age-based disparities; and diabetes disease management programs.

Past UCLA CHPR research has looked at the role retail food sources play in the surge in diabetes rates, such as how the abundance of fast food and scarcity of fresh food can lead to obesity, which increases the risk of developing diabetes. Another high-profile study focused on the link between sugary drinks — sodas, energy drinks, and sports drinks — and obesity in children. Another analysis estimated that half of California adults had either diabetes or prediabetes, which was disproportionately high among young adults of color. Research staff conducted a roundtable of more than 30 experts who discussed the consumption of added sugars in food their negative impacts on health beyond diabetes.

Data on Diabetes

The California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), the largest state health survey in the nation, has several easy-to-use online health query tools, where you can search for data on diabetes at the state and local levels.

Data include: adults who have ever been diagnosed with diabetes, type of diabetes, and more, and can be examined across location and a range of sociodemographic factors, including race and ethnicity, age, gender, income and poverty level, and much more.


Diabetes at a Glance

10.8% (3.2 million)

of California adults diagnosed with any type of diabetes in 2021


of adults with diabetes in California had Type II diabetes in 2021; 9.8% had Type I diabetes


of California adults had prediabetes in 2021, compared with 8% in 2009

How our data are used

Recent studies on disparities among adults with diabetes include authors finding that Latinx immigrants who were very food insecure had higher odds of having Type II diabetes and not managing the disease compared with their counterparts who had enough to eat; that the odds of having depression and, separately, of having diabetes each decreased with each additional healthy lifestyle behavior; and that Vietnamese Americans who are not obese have much higher odds of having diabetes than counterparts who are white.

In a study coauthored by Health Economics and Evaluation Research (HEER) staff focused on the intersection of geography, poverty, and preventable health problems, researchers mapped patients with diabetes in California who had amputations and found that patients who lived in low-income ZIP codes were far more likely to have had lower-limb amputations than those in higher-income ZIP codes, essentially identifying amputation “hot spots.”

In addition to research, program staff also provide expertise and California Health Interview Survey data to community organizations to create policy and advocacy materials, such as a “Retail Food Environment” index used to correlate the mix of food outlets in a neighborhood with rates of diabetes and obesity. Program staff have also provided customized maps of diabetes prevalence and related neighborhood characteristics to local community groups and media in Los Angeles County.