The prevalence of diabetes has reached epidemic proportions.
WHO predicts that developing countries will bear the brunt of this epidemic in the 21st century. Currently, more than 70% of people with diabetes live in low- and middle income countries.
- An estimated 285 million people, corresponding to 6.4% of the world's adult population, will live with diabetes in 2010. The number is expected to grow to 438 million by 2030, corresponding to 7.8% of the adult population.
- While the global prevalence of diabetes is 6.4%, the prevalence varies from 10.2% in the Western Pacific to 3.8% in the African region. However, the African region is expected to experience the highest increase.
- 70% of the current cases of diabetes occur in low- and middle income countries. With an estimated 50.8 million people living with diabetes, India has the world's largest diabetes population, followed by China with 43.2 million.
- The largest age group currently affected by diabetes is between 40-59 years. By 2030 this "record" is expected to move to the 60-79 age group with some 196 million cases.
- Diabetes is one of the major causes of premature illness and death worldwide. Non-communicable diseases including diabetes account for 60% of all deaths worldwide.