2023 Google Data Reveals the State of Diabetes in the U.S.

What can we glean from the Google searches in the United States about diabetes trends in 2023? Questions and interests of people nationwide can help us better understand their concerns, priorities, and information needed to address the ongoing diabetes crisis.

Key takeaways:

The number of Americans with diabetes is comparable to the population of Canada as a whole. But it doesn't stop there. More than one in three adults in the U.S. have prediabetes, and many don't even realize it.

The goal of National Diabetes Month this November is clear: to tackle this pressing health issue head-on. What confirms the concern is the 261,000 monthly searches for diabetes on Google. But what exactly piques people's interest?

This research dives deep into the public data from Google over the past year to unveil the top questions and concerns Americans have about diabetes.

Global search overview

The U.S. tops the chart globally in its thirst for knowledge on diabetes. It accounts for 23% of the global search volume on this topic, making it the country with the most queries.

On average, Americans search for the keyword "diabetes" approximately 261,000 times per month. That's nearly 8,700 searches daily, which is akin to the entire population of a small town searching for information on diabetes every single day.

This number is also double that of the second country, India, and almost three times higher than the third country, Brazil.

Global volume of searches.

Monthly searches for diabetes score more than the total searches for "healthy eating tips" (1K U.S. monthly searches) and "fitness" (40K U.S. monthly searches) combined.

Top questions asked

Diabetes is something Americans want to know more about.

The top five questions they ask are:

  1. What causes diabetes?
  2. What is type 2 diabetes?
  3. What is diabetes?
  4. How to prevent diabetes?
  5. How to know if you have diabetes?

There's a big focus on preventative health measures when questions like "What causes diabetes?" and "How to prevent diabetes?" pop up all the time. To care for their health, Americans want to learn what causes the condition and how to avoid it.

Considering Americans are more likely to have type 2 diabetes than type 1 diabetes, it makes sense that they're interested in this type of diabetes.

Those who don't know the symptoms and early signs of diabetes ask, "How to know if you have diabetes." There's a potential information gap, so addressing it could lead to a better diagnosis and management.

The fact that "what is diabetes?" is one of the top questions that shows that there's a desire for basic knowledge and awareness about the disease. It may indicate people have misconceptions or lack of understanding about diabetes, and they need more information to clarify.

The ever-evolving landscape of diabetes research, treatment, and public interest brings specific queries to the forefront. The following are the trending topics in the realm of diabetes and those closely related searches that have seen the greatest interest surge.

#1 Hormone

Diabetes, sometimes called a disease of the "endocrine system," involves eight glands that produce various hormones, including insulin. This hormone is essential for using blood sugar as energy; a shortage can lead to diabetes.

Such shortage also impacts other hormones in the body, including estrogen, testosterone, and thyroid hormones. It causes severe health issues like irregular menstrual cycles, mood swings, low libido, thyroid dysfunction, weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, and fertility problems.

So, yes, diabetes and hormones are related. And it's not surprising that people with diabetes want to be aware of these hormone imbalances and their symptoms.

#2 American Diabetes Association

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) aims to boost awareness during Diabetes Awareness Month in November, which could drive increased search activity. ADA also provides various resources like books, magazines, and newsletters. These resources offer up-to-date information on managing diabetes, nutrition, recipes, and lifestyle tips, making them interesting for users to explore daily.

#3 Tirzepatide

The growing interest in "Tirzepatide" likely stems from its potential for weight loss. Recent research reveals that Lilly's Tirzepatide has demonstrated an impressive additional weight loss of 21.1% following 12 weeks of intensive lifestyle changes, resulting in a total average weight loss of 26.6% over 84 weeks.

Throughout 2023, Tirzepatide has been a widely discussed topic. Towards the end of the year, there is a strong likelihood that the FDA will approve Eli Lilly's new diabetes drug as a weight loss treatment. If this approval comes to fruition, Eli Lilly's drug could potentially become one of the best-selling medications of all time.

#4 Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is becoming more common. In the United States, the number of moms diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy went up from 6.0% in 2016 to 8.3% in 2021.

The Irish study conducted at the University of Galway found metformin to be effective in managing gestational diabetes, potentially revolutionizing how the condition is treated. This news likely had a substantial impact on the surge in searches for gestational diabetes-related terms.

State-by-State search insights

Certain states demonstrate a higher search frequency on diabetes than others.

The states with the most queries are:

states with most diabetes searches1
  1. Mississippi
  2. West Virginia
  3. Arkansas
  4. Alabama
  5. Texas

It is worth noting that the four first states — West Virginia, Arkansas, Alabama, and Mississippi — have some of the highest diabetes prevalence rates in the country. They rank 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, respectively.

There is a lack of access to healthcare in some of these states. Mississippi and Alabama have relatively high numbers of uninsured people, with 11.9% and 9.9%. Texas ranks highest, with over 18% lacking health insurance.

On the flip side, the states with the least number of diabetes searches include:

states with the least number of searches1
  1. Vermont
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Colorado
  4. Alaska
  5. Wyoming

Some states, like Vermont, Colorado, and the District of Columbia, have low diabetes rates — around 8%. This is below the national average of about 10%.

These states also offer better healthcare access, with fewer people lacking access to health insurance. For instance, Vermont has one of the lowest uninsured rates at just 3.7%.

States with lower populations, like Alaska and Wyoming, have fewer people online searching for health topics like diabetes.

Methodology
In this research, the Healthnews team used Ahrefs and Google Trends tools to analyze specific metrics associated with the keyword "diabetes" over the past 12 months. The data was collected on October 30, 2023.

The takeaway

Regarding diabetes, Americans are actively seeking information, exploring innovative treatments, and grasping the impact of this condition.

The research shows that states with higher diabetes rates and lower healthcare access search more for diabetes information. Results point to the need for specific improvements, such as providing more access to healthcare resources and advocating for better healthcare policies. Access to these resources should be open to all, regardless of income or location.

As the diabetes crisis evolves, the curiosity for knowledge will likely grow. Addressing this interest could lead to significant changes in the national landscape, paving the way for a healthier future.


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