The IDF Diabetes Atlas (2021) reports that 10.5% of the adult population (20-79 years) has diabetes, with almost half unaware that they are living with the condition. By 2045, IDF projections show that 1 in 8 adults, approximately 783 million, will be living with diabetes, an increase of 46%.
The International Diabetes Federation's (IDF) Diabetes Atlas 10th Edition paints a sobering picture of the diabetes pandemic sweeping across the globe. It exposes the stark reality of this chronic disease, its staggering prevalence, and its devastating impact on individuals, families, and healthcare systems worldwide.
An Alarmingly Widespread Disease
As of 2021, 537 million adults (aged 20-79) were living with diabetes, a staggering increase from 463 million in 2019. By 2045, this number is projected to climb to a staggering 700 million, highlighting the alarmingly rapid spread of the disease. Nearly one in ten adults globally now live with diabetes, a testament to its widespread nature and potential to overwhelm healthcare systems.
Regional Disparities, Persistent Burden
While diabetes affects all parts of the world, low- and middle-income countries bear the brunt of the burden. These regions account for roughly 75% of all adults living with diabetes. South-East Asia and the Western Pacific remain hotspots, contributing 46% of the global diabetes population. North America and Europe, despite having lower prevalence rates, still grapple with substantial numbers of affected individuals, underscoring the widespread reach of the disease.
Beyond Numbers: The Devastating Consequences
Diabetes is not merely a matter of statistics; it claims human lives. Over 4 million people lose their lives to diabetes-related causes annually, making it the ninth leading cause of death globally. The complications of diabetes are numerous and debilitating, from cardiovascular diseases and neuropathy to blindness and kidney failure. The economic burden is immense, with annual healthcare spending on diabetes surpassing 1 trillion USD, placing a significant strain on healthcare systems and impacting individual finances.