Diabetes is the world’s fastest-growing chronic condition, affecting more than 460 million adults worldwide. By 2045, this number is expected to rise to 700 million.
Type 1 diabetes occurs as a result of the autoimmune destruction of the insulin-producing β (beta) cells in the pancreas. After it’s onset – which is typically during childhood or adolescence – type 1 diabetes is characterized by life-long insulin dependence and the need to closely monitor blood glucose and administer insulin.
Type 2 diabetes occurs due to a progressive loss of adequate β-cell insulin secretion – frequently preceded by insulin resistance – and is often associated with an unhealthy diet and/or too little exercise. Without sufficient production of or uptake of insulin, blood glucose remains in the bloodstream and rises to unhealthy levels. Over time, many people with type 2 diabetes develop insulin deficiency and begin insulin therapy in order to keep blood glucose levels within a healthy range.
With the diabetes treatments available today, and by closely monitoring the condition, people with diabetes can stay healthy and minimize the risk of the complications caused by sustained high blood glucose levels. These complications – which may include problems with the kidneys, eyes and nerves – can be serious, so people with diabetes need to ensure blood glucose is monitored properly, insulin is administered when needed, and healthy diet and lifestyle choices are followed.
Diabetes facts & figures
- The proportion of people with type 2 diabetes is increasing in most countries
- 79% of adults with diabetes live in low- and middle-income countries
- 1 in 2 people with diabetes are undiagnosed
- Diabetes caused at least USD 760 billion dollars in health expenditure in 2019 – 10% of total spending on adults
- 374 million people are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes
For more information about diabetes, please visit the International Diabetes Federation website.
All figures and claims are supported by data from the International Diabetes Federation, Diabetes Atlas 9th edition, and American Diabetes Association: “2. Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes: Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes-2020.” Diabetes Care 43.Suppl 1 (2020): S14.
Find out more about living with diabetes from people affected by the condition.