Diabetes Globally

Diabetes is recognised as the world’s fastest growing chronic condition. The number of people with type 2 diabetes is growing in each country. In 2013, diabetes caused 1.5 million deaths globally. Higher blood glucose levels also caused an additional 2.2 million deaths, by increasing the risks of cardiovascular and other diseases.

World Diabetes Day is celebrated on November 14 each year. This day engages millions of people worldwide in diabetes advocacy and awareness activities in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat that diabetes now poses globally.

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Global statistics

“Almost 650 million of us may be living with diabetes by 2040″

In 2015, the 7th edition of the International Diabetes Federation’s (IDF) Diabetes Atlas estimated that:

  • One in 11 adults has diabetes (415 million)
  • One in two (46.5 per cent) adults with diabetes is undiagnosed
  • 12 per cent of global health expenditure is spent on diabetes (USD$673 billion)
  • One in seven births is affected by gestational diabetes
  • Three-quarters (75 per cent) of people with diabetes live in low- and middle-income countries
  • 542,000 children have type 1 diabetes
  • Every six seconds a person dies from diabetes (5.0 million deaths)

By 2040, IDF estimates that:

  • One adult in ten will have diabetes (642 million)
  • Diabetes-related health expenditure will exceed USD$802 billion

37 per cent of all adults with diabetes live in the Western Pacific region (which includes Australia);

  • China with over 100 million people with diabetes (ranked highest number of people with diabetes),
  • Indonesia with 10 million people with diabetes (7th highest),
  • Japan with 7.2 million people with diabetes (9th highest).

The Western Pacific also has the country with the world’s highest prevalence of diabetes – in the Pacific Island nation of Tokelau where 30 per cent of adult population has diabetes. Cambodia has the lowest at per cent.

*Sourced by the International Diabetes Federation Diabetes Atlas Key Findings 2015

Diabetes in the Regions

  • More than three quarters of people with diabetes in Africa are estimated to be undiagnosed
  • One adult in eight in the North America and Caribbean Region has diabetes
  • Europe has the highest number of children living with type 1 diabetes
  • In South East Asia, one quarter of all births are affected by high blood glucose in pregnancy
  • 37 per cent of all adults with diabetes live in the Western Pacific
  • In the Middle East and North Africa, four out of ten adults with diabetes are undiagnosed
  • By 2040, the number of people with diabetes will increase by 65 per cent in South and Central America

*Sourced from the International Diabetes Federation Diabetes Atlas Key Findings 2015

History of World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by IDF and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2006 with the passage of United Nation Resolution 61/225.

WDD is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign reaching a global audience of over 1 billion people in more than 160 countries. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public and political spotlight.

World Diabetes Day is an international event to raise awareness about diabetes, celebrated every year on 14 November.

International Diabetes Foundation – Diabetes Voice Quarterly Magazine

Diabetes Voice is the quarterly magazine of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). It covers the latest developments in diabetes care, education, prevention, research, health policy and economics, as well as themes related to living with diabetes. Diabetes Voice goes to the heart of issues that are crucial to all those who can further the promotion of diabetes care, prevention, and a cure worldwide.

Read and/or download current and past issues on the IDF website.