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FAQ

  • What is the Diabetes Atlas?

    The IDF Diabetes Atlas is the authoritative resource on the global burden of diabetes. First published in 2000, it is produced by IDF biennially in collaboration with experts from around the world and contains data on diabetes cases, prevalence, mortality and expenditure on the global, regional and national level.

    Figures from the Atlas are frequently quoted in scientific papers and by the media. The IDF Diabetes Atlas is considered as one of IDF’s most valuable and visible projects. A full IDF Diabetes Atlas report is produced every two years.

    The Atlas is supported by: Lilly Diabetes; MSD and Novo Nordisk.

  • Are undiagnosed diabetes cases included in the total number of cases?

    Undiagnosed cases are already included in the number of cases reported and not additional.

  • Which region has the highest prevalence of diabetes and why?

    The North America and Caribbean Region has the highest regional prevalence of diabetes (15.4%). In this region, 1 in 8 adults has diabetes.

    Increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes is associated with higher levels of urbanisation, ageing populations, and more sedentary lifestyles, including obesity, insufficient physical activity and a higher intake of unhealthy foods. The causes of the increased incidence of type 1 diabetes are not clear.

  • What are the main differences from the last IDF Diabetes Atlas?

    The following modifications have been made in the IDF Diabetes Atlas 8th Edition:

    • The children and adolescent age group has been expanded to 0-19 years old from 0-15 years old.
    • Estimates for diabetes prevalence among adults aged 18-99 years has also been calculated in addition to 20-79 years.
    • Diabetes in people aged over 65 years has been further analysed.
    • A new chapter has been added to describe some of the main diabetes-related complications including cardiovascular disease, eye disease, nephropathy, diabetic foot, oral health and pregnancy-related complications.
  • What are the most notable updates?

    In 2017, IDF estimates that:

    • One in 11 adults (20-79 years) has diabetes (425 million)
    • One in two adults with diabetes are undiagnosed (over 212 million people)
    • Some 12% of global health expenditure is spent on diabetes (USD727 billion)
    • One in six births (16.2%) is affected by gestational diabetes
    • Just over three quarters (79%) of people with diabetes live in low- and middle-income countries
    • 586,000 children and adolescents have type 1 diabetes
    • 4.0 million deaths globally are attributable to diabetes

    By 2045, IDF estimates that:

    • One adult in ten will have diabetes (629 million)
    • Diabetes-related health expenditure will exceed USD776 billion
  • What should we be most concerned about?

    Diabetes-related healthcare costs are now estimated to account for 12% of the total healthcare budget. As there are projected to be 642 million people with diabetes in 2040, it is essential that more efforts are put into improving type 2 prevention plans and introducing more cost-effective management of type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.

  • How can we improve diagnosis rates?

    Worldwide, half the people with diabetes are undiagnosed. We can improve diagnosis rates with increased awareness of the symptoms of type 1 diabetes (thirst, increased urination, tiredness, sudden weight loss, hunger), and increased screening opportunities for people at high risk of type 2 diabetes (advanced age, increased body weight, complications, low level of physical activity, and unhealthy diet).

  • What is the impact of gestational diabetes? What does this mean for health of future generations?

    Globally, one in six births (16 %) is affected by gestational diabetes. The risk of gestational diabetes increases with age. Gestational diabetes is associated with complications during delivery in both the mother and child, and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

  • Where does IDF get its information from for the Diabetes Atlas estimates?

    The data used in this edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas comes from a variety of sources. Electronic databases of peer-reviewed scientific literature were searched, Ministry of Health websites were reviewed, and national and regional health surveys were sought from governments and researchers. Official reports by international organisations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) were also assessed for quality, that was defined in consensus with an international expert panel. Strict selection and inclusion criteria for data sources were used.

  • What is the confidence interval?

    Confidence intervals have been produced to quantify the uncertainty around diabetes prevalence estimates. Uncertainty estimates were produced to estimate the impact of the various analytical decisions on the final prevalence estimates. These intervals thus reflect the uncertainty levels around the diabetes prevalence estimates.

  • When should I use national prevalence and how is this calculated?

    The national prevalence is a percentage of the number of adults (20 – 79 years) who are estimated to have diabetes in the given year (either 2017 or 2045) in a country or region. It is calculated by taking the estimated number of cases in adults and dividing by the total population in adults. The national prevalence should be used when reporting statistics for just one country or region, or when the statistics being reported are not for comparison. For comparison purposes between countries or regions, it is recommended that the age-adjusted comparative prevalence be used.

  • When should I use age-adjusted comparative prevalence and how is this calculated?

    As the prevalence of diabetes increases with age, raw prevalence estimates cannot be used for comparing the prevalence of diabetes between countries that have different age structures, such as, for example, Japan and India. In order to make such comparisons between countries, age-adjusted comparative estimates were generated for each country by applying the country’s age-specific prevalence estimates to each age-group and standardising the country’s population age structure to the global age structure of 2001. The distribution used for this calculation is applied to all countries in the same way and is based on a distribution developed by WHO to compare the relative burden of disease in different countries.

  • What factors does IDF take into account when calculating the Atlas 2045 projections?

    For projections, only changes in the predicted population and urbanisation changes available from the United Nations Population Division are used. Predictions for changes in obesity, socio-economic status or other risk factors are not included. As a result, projections are quite conservative.

  • The prevalence estimates or a particular country or region has changed compared to the previous editions of the Atlas. Why is this?

    The estimated prevalence in a country may be lower or higher than in previous editions, either because of changes to the methodology to make the estimate more precise, or because new data has been produced that changes the prevalence estimate. As explained above, this does not mean that IDF believes there has been a reduction or increase in prevalence, but that the newer methodology and data provide a more realistic estimate. Detailed methodology and the full list of source data used to estimate diabetes prevalence in each country can be found at www.diabetesatlas.org

  • What are the main factors driving the increase in diabetes prevalence?

    Increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes is associated with higher levels of urbanisation, ageing populations, more sedentary lifestyles, including obesity, insufficient physical activity and a higher intake of unhealthy foods. The causes of the increased incidence of type 1 diabetes are not clear.

  • Where can I get more details and country-level data?

    For more details and detailed country estimates, please contact atlas@idf.org.