Diabetes continues to spread around the world
This map shows the 10 countries/territories with the highest diabetes prevalence rates in adults aged 20 to 79, in 2013.
November 14th, 2013
12:01 AM ET

Diabetes continues to spread around the world

On World Diabetes Day, news about the disease's global impact is dire.

An estimated 382 million people worldwide have diabetes, according to a new report from the International Diabetes Federation. The IDF expects that number to rise to 592 million by 2035, when one in every 10 people will have the disease.

"Diabetes in all its forms imposes unacceptably high human, social and economic costs on countries at all income levels," the report authors begin in the executive summary. They go on to say that this latest edition of the Diabetes Atlas "carries a bitter but unavoidable message: despite the array of tools at our disposal to tackle the disease... the battle to protect people from diabetes and its disabling, life-threatening complications is being lost."

Epidemiologist Leonor Guariguata, project coordinator for IDF's Diabetes Atlas, wasn't surprised by the report's findings. In fact, she says the estimates are conservative, and that diabetes may be a much bigger problem than we think.

"The thing that strikes me is that we keep saying the same thing again," she said. "Every time we produce new estimates, they are above and beyond what we had projected from past estimates."

There are three types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes.

People who have Type 1 diabetes do not produce insulin, a hormone the body needs to convert sugar and starches into energy. Type 1 diabetes used to be called juvenile onset diabetes because it is usually diagnosed in adolescence. Around 5% of the diabetic population in the United States has Type 1 diabetes.

Cells offer hope for Type 1 diabetics

People with Type 2 diabetes have developed a resistance to the insulin their body produces. Most people who develop Type 2 diabetes are adults, although experts worry about the increasing number of young people being diagnosed.

Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy and can increase both the mother and baby's chances of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.

According to the IDF report, China, India and the United States top the list for the most cases of diabetes per country; around 24.4 million Americans had the disease in 2013.  But islands in the Pacific have the most alarming rates of prevalence, or the number of cases compared to the country's population overall.

For example, 37.5% of the population of Tokelau, located northeast of Fiji, has diabetes. Micronesia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar also reported higher-than-average prevalence rates. A large part of this is due to the growing obesity problem; while all types of diabetes are on the rise, the number of people with Type 2 diabetes is expected to double in less than 25 years.

"We started seeing big increases in prevalence in those islands maybe 20, 30 years ago," Guariguata said. "That coincides with rapid development." The discovery of natural resources on the islands, she explained, led to an influx of money in the population. People started eating more imported foods and moving less.

But diabetes is no longer considered just a rich man's disease, Guariguata said. Approximately 80% of the people living with diabetes are in low- and middle-income countries.

The Middle East and North Africa currently have the highest rates of adult diabetes prevalence compared to other world regions, according to the report, but Africa will see the greatest increase in cases over the next two decades. Urban centers in Africa are showing higher prevalence rates than cities in Europe, Guariguata said, and many cases go undiagnosed and untreated because of a lack of awareness in these countries.

In addition to those that already have diabetes, IDF estimates 316 million people have IGT, or impaired glucose tolerance - also known as prediabetes. These are people at a high risk of developing the disease.

"There is no country that has solved the problem for diabetes and no country has gotten it right," Guariguata said. "The good news for all of this is diabetes is imminently treatable, with cheap generic drugs that are available and (with) lifestyle change. We're not looking at a disease that we have absolutely no response for."

Here are some other significant statistics from the IDF report:

- An estimated 5.1 million people died of diabetes-related complications in 2013

- 17% of babies in 2013 were born to women with high blood sugar levels, a sign of gestational diabetes, which Guariguata says will contribute to the global diabetes burden in years to come

- More than 79,000 children developed Type 1 diabetes in 2013; that's up from 77,800 in 2011

- The equivalent of $548 billion was spent on health care for diabetes patients around the world in 2013

soundoff (801 Responses)
  1. instant covid testing near me

    I need to to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoyed every bit of it. I have got you book-marked to check out new things you postÖ


    June 16, 2021 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. electronic stores near me


    June 16, 2021 at 17:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Nearby RV Repair

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and the rest of the website is really good.


    June 16, 2021 at 21:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Camper Repair Shops Near Me

    I was extremely pleased to find this website. I want to to thank you for your time for this fantastic read!! I definitely appreciated every little bit of it and I have you saved to fav to see new things on your web site.


    June 16, 2021 at 23:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. RV Repair Garden Grove

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely feel this website needs far more attention. Iíll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the advice!


    June 17, 2021 at 01:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Camper Repair Near Me

    Hello there! This post could not be written any better! Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I'll send this post to him. Fairly certain he's going to have a good read. I appreciate you for sharing!


    June 17, 2021 at 06:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. papa john's near me


    June 17, 2021 at 13:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. taxi near me


    June 17, 2021 at 14:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. mall near me


    June 17, 2021 at 14:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. mattress firm near me

    Good info. Lucky me I found your site by chance (stumbleupon). I've book marked it for later!


    June 17, 2021 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. chevy dealer near me

    I used to be able to find good advice from your articles.


    June 17, 2021 at 17:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. sallys near me

    A motivating discussion is worth comment. I do think that you should write more about this subject matter, it may not be a taboo subject but typically folks don't talk about these topics. To the next! Kind regards!!


    June 17, 2021 at 20:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. aa meetings near me


    June 17, 2021 at 21:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. dollar store near me

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon every day. It will always be interesting to read articles from other writers and practice something from other sites.


    June 18, 2021 at 00:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. car parts near me

    When I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the exact same comment. There has to be an easy method you can remove me from that service? Thanks a lot!


    June 18, 2021 at 01:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. veterinarians near me


    June 18, 2021 at 01:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. bait shop near me

    Very good info. Lucky me I found your website by chance (stumbleupon). I've book-marked it for later!


    June 18, 2021 at 03:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. dog adoption near me


    June 18, 2021 at 04:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. mulch near me


    June 18, 2021 at 06:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Louise Hagin

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a online game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life articles and blogs


    June 18, 2021 at 11:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RV Repair Fountain Valley


    June 18, 2021 at 13:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RV Repair Garden Grove

    There's certainly a lot to find out about this topic. I really like all of the points you have made.


    June 18, 2021 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Repair Fountain Valley


    June 18, 2021 at 14:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. RV Repair San Clemente California


    June 18, 2021 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. RV Repair Shops Near Me


    June 18, 2021 at 18:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Repair Shops Near My Location

    There's certainly a lot to know about this subject. I really like all of the points you have made.


    June 18, 2021 at 21:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RV Repair Orange County California

    I like reading an article that will make people think. Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!


    June 18, 2021 at 22:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RV Repair Nearby

    Aw, this was a really nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to produce a very good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I hesitate a whole lot and never seem to get nearly anything done.


    June 19, 2021 at 03:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RV Repair Mission Viejo


    June 19, 2021 at 05:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Sprinter Repair Costa Mesa

    Your style is so unique in comparison to other people I've read stuff from. I appreciate you for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this site.


    June 19, 2021 at 10:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Repairs Near My Location


    June 19, 2021 at 10:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Nearby RV Repair

    I could not resist commenting. Very well written!


    June 19, 2021 at 11:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. RV Repair California

    An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a co-worker who had been doing a little homework on this. And he in fact ordered me breakfast because I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time to discuss this issue here on your blog.


    June 19, 2021 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Repair Huntington Beach

    After exploring a number of the blog articles on your web page, I really like your technique of blogging. I added it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back in the near future. Please visit my website as well and tell me your opinion.


    June 19, 2021 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. RV Repair Orange County


    June 19, 2021 at 15:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Sprinter Repair Orange County


    June 19, 2021 at 16:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RV Repairs Near My Location


    June 19, 2021 at 18:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Nearest RV Repair

    This blog was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something which helped me. Thanks a lot!


    June 19, 2021 at 20:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Camper Repair Shop Near Me

    An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a colleague who had been doing a little research on this. And he actually bought me lunch due to the fact that I discovered it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to discuss this matter here on your blog.


    June 19, 2021 at 21:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Content Marketing Company

    I couldnít resist commenting. Perfectly written!


    June 20, 2021 at 00:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Video Marketing Agency


    June 20, 2021 at 03:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Video Marketing Agency


    June 20, 2021 at 04:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Social Media Marketing Businesses


    June 20, 2021 at 05:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Rueben Weinfeld

    I have a great interest in computer and aircrafts, especially military aircrafts. I am planning to do computer engineering and be involved in the designing of military aircrafts (aircraft's computer).. I need to know whether the US Air Force needs computer engineers and if yes, will a computer engineer be wearing uniform and do they have military ranks ?.


    June 20, 2021 at 06:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Content Marketing Business


    June 20, 2021 at 10:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Dorethea Corino

    Excellent web site you have here.. Itís difficult to find high quality writing like yours nowadays. I seriously appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!


    June 20, 2021 at 11:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Janeen Hudlin

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who has been conducting a little research on this. And he actually ordered me lunch because I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to talk about this matter here on your website.


    June 20, 2021 at 11:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. pharmacepticacom

    chloroquine phosphate vs hydroxychloroquine https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 20, 2021 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Corrine Walbert

    I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your content. The article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to bookmark your blog and keep checking for new information about once per week. I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.


    June 20, 2021 at 15:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Jenny Srygley

    Hi, I do think this is a great web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to return yet again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.


    June 20, 2021 at 21:09 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Leave a Reply to Content Marketing Company


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.