- 366 million people have diabetes in 2011; by 2030 this will have risen to 552 million
- The number of people with type 2 diabetes is increasing in every country
- 80% of people with diabetes live in low- and middle-income countries
- The greatest number of people with diabetes are between 40 to 59 years of age
- 183 million people (50%) with diabetes are undiagnosed
- Diabetes caused 4.6 million deaths in 2011
- Diabetes caused at least USD 465 billion dollars in healthcare expenditures in 2011; 11% of total healthcare expenditures in adults (20-79 years)
- 78,000 children develop type 1 diabetes every year
Diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the most common non-communicable diseases (NCDs) globally. It is the fourth or fifth leading cause of death in most high-income countries and there is substantial evidence that it is epidemic in many economically developing and newly industrialised countries.
Diabetes is undoubtedly one of the most challenging health problems in the 21st century.
The number of studies describing the possible causes and distribution of diabetes over the last 20 years has been extraordinary. These studies continue to confirm that it is the low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) that face the greatest burden of diabetes. However, many governments and public health planners still remain largely unaware of the current magnitude, or, more importantly, the future potential for increases in diabetes and its serious complications in their own countries.
Population-based diabetes studies consistently show that a substantial proportion of those found to have diabetes had not been previously diagnosed. Many people remain undiagnosed largely because there are few symptoms during the early years of type 2 diabetes or symptoms may not be recognised as being related to diabetes.
In addition to diabetes, the condition of impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), in which the blood glucose level is higher than normal but not as high as in diabetes, is also a major public health problem. People with IGT have a higher risk of developing diabetes as well as an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Prevalence and projections
In this edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas, the prevalence of diabetes mellitus and IGT has are estimated for the years 2011 and 2030. Data are provided for 216 countries and territories (see Appendix 1), grouped into the seven IDF regions: Africa (AFR), Europe (EUR), Middle East and North Africa (MENA), North America and Caribbean (NAC), South and Central America (SACA), South-East Asia (SEA), and the Western Pacific (WP).
Full details of the methods used to generate the prevalence estimates for diabetes in adults and the proportion undiagnosed, including how the data sources were evaluated and processed, can be found in the methods paper published in the journal Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice and on the IDF Diabetes Atlas website: www.idf.org/diabetesatlas/papers.
Complications due to diabetes (Chapter 'What is Diabetes?') are a major cause of disability, reduced quality of life, and death. Diabetes complications can affect various parts of the body manifesting in different ways for different people.
There are no internationally agreed standards for diagnosing and assessing diabetes complications. Due to different methods of assessing the presence of these complications it is difficult to make comparisons between different populations. However, it is clear that they are very common, with at least one complication present in a large proportion of people (50% or more in some studies) at the time of diagnosis.
For this edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas, estimates of complications were not included due to the lack of comparability of available data. International standards for measuring complications are essential to provide accurate estimates of this major cause of disability.