The world’s most populous region, the Western Pacific has 39 countries and territories with predicted populations for 2011 ranging from 1.3 billion for China to less than 1,500 for the smallest Pacific island nations of Niue and Tokelau. Similarly, the economic profile of countries varies from per capita GDPs of over USD 35,000 for Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore to less than USD 3,000 for the poorest countries. 1
Some 131.9 million people, or 8.5% of the adult population, are estimated to have diabetes in 2011. Over the next 20 years, the number is expected to increase to 187.9 million, or 10.6% of the adult population. The Western Pacific Region makes up 36% of the total number of people with diabetes in the world. There is a great range in the estimates for prevalence (%) of diabetes in the region, from the world’s highest prevalence in the Pacific Island nation of Kiribati (25.7%) to one of the lowest prevalence in Cambodia (2.9%). Pacific island nations have some of the highest diabetes prevalence (%) in the world. Marshall Islands (22.2%), Nauru (20.7%), Tuvalu (19.5%) and Vanuatu (16.4%) closely follow Kiribati as the highest prevalence (%) countries in the region.
China is poised to be overwhelmed by diabetes having the highest number of people with diabetes (90 million) in the world in 2011 with a prevalence of 9.0%. If China continues on its projected trend, the number of people with diabetes will reach 130 million by 2030.
An estimated 30,700 children under the age of 15 in the region have type 1 diabetes in 2011. The largest numbers of children with type 1 diabetes in the region live in China, with 8,700 children, followed closely by the Philippines with 7,800 children. Australia has the highest estimated incidence rate of type 1 diabetes with 22.5 cases per 100,000 children. In 2011, there were 5,000 newly diagnosed children with type 1 diabetes in the Western Pacific Region.
The Western Pacific Region also has the highest number of deaths attributable to diabetes in 2011 of any region with 1.7 million deaths among adults or over 15% of all deaths. China alone had 1.1 million deaths due to diabetes in 2011. Substantially more men (973,000) than women (735,000) died of diabetes in 2011 in the region and 46% of diabetes deaths occurred in those under the age of 60.
Expenditures on healthcare due to diabetes in this populous region account for about 15.5% of the global total. At least USD 72.2 billion was spent on diabetes-related care in 2011. The amount of mean diabetes-related spending on healthcare per person with diabetes varied greatly between countries in the region, ranging from more than USD 3,000 in Australia and Japan to less than USD 20 in Myanmar and the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea.
Twenty-eight data sources from 20 countries were used to generate estimates of diabetes in adults for the region. A large new study from China contributed significantly to increases in the diabetes prevalence estimates in the region compared to the previous edition. Estimates for type 1 diabetes in the young were based on 10 studies.
1: Central Intelligance Agency. The World Factbook. 2008. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/ [Accessed 2011-08-23].