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Diabetes Facts and Figures

Last Updated on May 08, 2014

Diabetes, also popularly referred to as 'high blood sugar' is a metabolic disorder in which the pancreas does not properly produce insulin or the cells are unable to use the available insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed for daily life to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for our body. Factors such as genetic, environmental, obesity and lack of exercise appear to play major roles in causing diabetes.


Type 1 Diabetes Type 2 Diabetes Gestational diabetes
  • Older adults mostly have type 2 diabetes
  • Gestational diabetes is a temporary form of insulin resistance
  • In type 1 diabetes insulin secretion is stopped.
  • In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas usually makes some insulin, but it is not enough for the cells
  • It usually occurs halfway through a pregnancy

Key Facts about Diabetes

  1. Diabetes is the 5th most common cause for death in the world.
  2. In 2005, 1.1 million people died due to diabetes. Although people may live for years with diabetes, their cause of death is often recorded as heart diseases or kidney failure because diabetes impacts the whole body.
  3. In 2013, 382 million people were known to have diabetes. By 2035 this may rise to 592 million.
  4. The number of people with type 2 diabetes is highly increasing in every country.
  5. Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, and more in aged population.
  6. Type 2 diabetes is more common than type 1 diabetes, and accounts for around 90% of all diabetes worldwide.
  7. 45 percent of children with newly diagnosed diabetes have Type 2 diabetes and most are overweight or obese at diagnosis. This means that Type 2 is not only treatable, but also preventable, with proper diet andv healthy lifestyle.
  8. Women with diabetes are more likely to develop vaginal infections due to their high glucose level. Also it impacts estrogen levels, menstrual and ovulation cycles, and sexual desire.
  9. Clinical research found that babies who were breastfed for more than three months had a lower incidence of Type 1 diabetes and also less likely to become obese as adults.
  10. Researchers found that watching television for more than two hours, was associated with 14% increase in diabetes risk.
  1. The number of people living with diabetes is greatly increasing in low- and middle-income countries (80%).
  2. Most people living with diabetes now are between 40 and 59 years of age.
  3. When compared to population age and sex differences, average medical expenditure among people with diagnosed diabetes were 2.3 times higher than medical expenditure in the absence of diabetes.
  4. Nearly 10% of the entire U.S. population has diabetes, including over 25% of seniors. If present trends continue, 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes in 2050
  5. Between adults with diagnosed diabetes, 12% take insulin only, 14% take insulin and oral medicine, 58% take oral suppository only, and 16% do not take either insulin or oral medicine.
  6. Researchers have identified a small percentage of diabetes cases that result from Surgery, genetic syndromes, chemicals, drugs, malnutrition, infections, and viruses.
  7. Smoking can increase diabetes risk by tightening blood vessels, raising blood pressure and stimulating the release of catecholamine (hormones), which promote insulin resistance.
  8. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, neuropathy, blood vessel blockage, nerve disease, amputations, blindness due to diabetic retinopathy, heart disease and stroke.
  9. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that diabetes has reached extreme proportions and expects that 80% of all new cases of diabetes will appear in developing countries by 2025.

Group Number and percentage of people who have diabetes
Age 20 years or older 25.6 million, or 11.3 percent, of all people in this age group
Age 65 years or older 10.9 million, or 26.9 percent, of all people in this age group
Men 13.0 million, or 11.8 percent, of all men aged 20 years or older
Women 12.6 million, or 10.8 percent, of all women aged 20 years or older
Non-Hispanic whites 15.7 million, or 10.2 percent, of all non-Hispanic whites aged 20 years or older
Non-Hispanic blacks 4.9 million, or 18.7 percent, of all non-Hispanic blacks aged 20 years or older


  1. http://jdrf.org/about-jdrf/fact-sheets/jdrf-and-diabetes-statistics/
  2. http://www.idf.org/worlddiabetesday/toolkit/gp/facts-figures
  3. www.diabetes.org
  4. http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2010/r101022.html
  5. http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/errors/404.aspx
  6. http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2010/r101022.html
  7. www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2010/r101022.html

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