Ahead of World Diabetes Day, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has released new figures showing that 537 million adults are now living with diabetes worldwide — a rise of 16% (74 million) since the previous IDF estimates in 2019. These findings from the 10th Edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas, which will be published on December 6th, report that over 74 million adults in India are living with diabetes – or one in 12 adults.
The number of people with diabetes in India is the second highest in the world, after China (141 million). A further 40 million adults in India have Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT), which places them at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This is the second highest number in the world.
More than half (53.1%) of people living with diabetes in India are undiagnosed. When diabetes is undetected or inadequately treated, it can cause 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 lead to a greater need for access to care.
“The increasing number of people living with diabetes and at risk of developing the condition in India confirms diabetes as a significant challenge to the health and wellbeing of individuals and families in the country,” says Professor Shashank Joshi, Chair, IDF South-East Asia Region.
This year marks 100 years since the discovery of insulin. This milestone presents a unique opportunity to reflect on the numbers of people living with diabetes, as well as the urgent need to improve access to care for the millions affected.
“We must do more to provide affordable and uninterrupted access to diabetes care for all in India, and around the world. Policy makers and health decision-makers must turn words into action to improve the lives of people with diabetes and prevent the condition in those at high risk of developing it,” continues Joshi.
Globally, 90% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. The rise in the number of people with type 2 diabetes is driven by a complex interplay of socio-economic, demographic, environmental and genetic factors. Key contributors include urbanisation, an ageing population, decreasing levels of physical activity and increasing levels of people being overweight and developing obesity.
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.
Key global and regional findings from the IDF Diabetes Atlas 10th Edition include:
- One in ten (10.5%) adults around the world are currently living with diabetes. The total number is predicted to rise to 643 million (11.3%) by 2030 and to 783 million (12.2%) by 2045.
- 1 in 11 adults (90 million) in South-East Asia are living with diabetes.
- An estimated 240 million people are living with undiagnosed diabetes worldwide – 46 million in South-East Asia.
- Diabetes was responsible for an estimated USD 966 billion in global health expenditure in 2021. This represents a 316% increase over 15 years. South-East Asia accounts for 1% (10 billion USD) of the global expenditure.
- Excluding the mortality risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 6.7 million adults are estimated to have died as a result of diabetes, or its complications, in 2021. That’s more than one in ten (12.2%) of global deaths from all causes. The South-East Asia Region accounts for 11% (747,000) of total diabetes-related deaths.
- 541 million adults, or 10.6% of adults worldwide, have impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), placing them at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Almost one in nine (47 million) people affected by IGT live in the South-East Asia Region.
- 1 in 4 live births in South-Asia are affected by hyperglycaemia (high blood glucose) in pregnancy.
More information and supporting data about the national, regional and global prevalence of diabetes from the 10th Edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas can be found at www.diabetesatlas.org.
The theme of World Diabetes Day this 14 November is Access to Diabetes Care. IDF is calling on national governments to provide the best possible care for people living with diabetes and develop policies to improve diabetes screening and type 2 diabetes prevention, especially among young people. Learn more at www.worlddiabetesday.org.