Diabetes is a serious public health issue affecting more than 17 million Americans, more than half of whom are women. With the increasing life span of women and the rapid growth of minority racial and ethnic populations in the United States (who are hardest hit by the diabetes burden), the number of women at high risk for diabetes and its complications will continue to increase, placing added demands on the health care delivery system and on other sectors of society. The estimated cost of diabetes to the United States for direct health care and other indirect expenditures is about $100 billion annually. In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established the National Public Health Initiative on Diabetes and Women's Health, which has three phases. In Phase I, Diabetes & Women's Health Across the Life Stages: A Public Health Perspective was prepared. This report, published in 2001, examines the issues that make diabetes a serious public health problem for women; analyzes the epidemiologic, psychosocial, socioeconomic, and environmental dimensions of women and diabetes; and discusses the public health implications. In Phase II, the information contained in the Phase I report was converted into an interim report containing recommendations for needed strategies, policies, disease tracking, and research to improve the lives of women diagnosed with or at risk for diabetes. Phase III will involve preparing and implementing the National Public Health Action Plan on Diabetes and Women's Health. This final phase of the Initiative will translate the recommendations into concrete operational programs and policies for relevant agencies and organizations. This interim report culminates Phase II and was prepared jointly by four cosponsor-ing organizations: CDC, the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the American Public Health Association (APHA), and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). The purpose of this report is to offer priority recommendations for responding to diabetes as a prominent public health issue for women and to garner the attention of policy makers, public health professionals, other advocates for women's issues, researchers, and the general public. In particular, this document provides recommendations for persons charged with making decisions and affecting policies related to diabetes and women's health. This interim report outlines the vision and goals for the National Public Health Initiative on Diabetes and Women's Health, guiding principles, a public health framework, and a life stage approach for addressing diabetes and women's health. These life stages are the adolescent years (ages 10-17 years), the reproductive years (ages 18-44 years), the middle years (ages 45-64 years), and the older years (ages 65 years and above). Many of the recommendations for public health action pertain to all women, regardless of life stage; others are life stage-specific. While the emphasis is specifically on women's health, adopting and implementing many of the recommendations will improve the health and well-being of men and families as well.