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New findings, published today in the 9th Edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas, show that there are now 463 million adults with diabetes worldwide.  The new figures highlight the alarming growth in the prevalence of diabetes around the world. 38 million more adults are now estimated to be living with diabetes compared to the results published in 2017.

The latest Atlas reports that the global prevalence of diabetes has reached 9.3%, with more than half (50.1%) of adults undiagnosed. Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90% of all people with diabetes.

Key findings include in the Diabetes Atlas 2019:
  • One in 11 adults live with diabetes.
  • In 2019, it is estimated that 463 million people have diabetes.
  • The total number of people with diabetes is predicted to rise to 578 million by 2030 and to 700 million by 2045.
  • 374 million adults have impaired glucose tolerance, placing them at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Diabetes was responsible for an estimated USD 760 billion in health expenditure in 2019.
  • Diabetes is among the top 10 causes of death, with almost half of deaths occurring in people under the age of 60 years.
  • One in six live births are affected by hyperglycaemia in pregnancy.
  • Three in every four people with diabetes (352 million) are of working age (20-64 years).

The rise in the number of people with type 2 diabetes is driven by a complex interplay of many different factors including urbanisation, an ageing population, decreasing levels of physical activity and increasing levels of overweight and obesity. For unknown reasons, type 1 diabetes is also on the rise.

Diabetes has an impact on all age groups, regardless of geography and income.

Real cause for Concern

“Diabetes is a serious global health issue that has a huge socio-economic impact that cannot be ignored,” said IDF President, Professor Nam H. Cho. “The rising prevalence of diabetes is a real cause for concern, especially when we consider the high number of people who remain undiagnosed. We must do more to prevent type 2 diabetes, diagnose all forms of diabetes early and prevent complications. We must also ensure that every person with diabetes has affordable and uninterrupted access to the care they need.”

Diabetes has an impact on all age groups, regardless of geography and income. More than 1.1 million children and adolescents younger than 20 years are living with type 1 diabetes, while three in every four people with diabetes (352 million) are of working age (20-64 years). One in five people over 65 has diabetes. The rise in prevalence is putting a strain on the capacity of countries to guarantee regular and affordable access to essential medicines and appropriate care. This leaves many struggling to manage their diabetes, placing their health at serious risk.

When diabetes is undetected or inadequately supported, people with diabetes are at risk of serious and life-threatening complications, such as heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and lower-limb amputation. These result in reduced quality of life and higher healthcare costs, and place undue stress on families.

Education and Advocacy in the Diabetes Atlas

Much can be done to reduce the impact of diabetes. Evidence suggests that type 2 diabetes can often be prevented, while early diagnosis and access to appropriate care for all types of diabetes can avoid or delay complications in people living with the condition.

The importance of diabetes advocacy is reflected in the 9th Edition of the Diabetes Atlas and related materials are given more emphasis than in previous editions in Chapter 6. For that purpose, a separate Advocacy Guide presenting key findings, messages and actions is also available, serving as a stimulus to the use of the IDF Diabetes Atlas data for advocacy purposes. Key advocacy messages include:

  • No effective and safe intervention currently exists to prevent type 1 diabetes.
  • There is firm evidence that primary prevention of type 2 diabetes can be effective.
  • Regular monitoring of the risk factors for diabetes complications and
    early intervention results in reduced hospitalisations and improved clinical outcomes.
  • Availability of diabetes medicines is globally variable, with poorer populations having less availability than those in higher income settings.
  • Despite being available for almost 100 years, insulin remains unaffordable and unavailable to many people with diabetes who require it.

“The IDF Diabetes Atlas provides information for those who have to make decisions about diabetes care and prevention and for those who seek to influence such decisions,” said IDF Diabetes Atlas Committee Chair, Professor Rhys Williams. “A considerable amount of research and new evidence has been collated for the 9thedition. We have seen an improvement in the number of in-country studies that support our estimates and projections, as we endeavour to inform the diabetes community and the wider public about the condition’s prevalence around the world”.

For more information and supporting data about the national, regional and global prevalence of diabetes included in the IDF Diabetes Atlas 9th Edition, visit www.diabetesatlas.org.

 

Elizabeth Snouffer is Editor of DiabetesVoice.org.


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1 Comment
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  • Pranab Kumar Biswas

    November 20, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    Type 2 diabetes is a largely preventable disease. We must direct our energy to adopt active style and denounce unhealthy food intake.