Global burden of type 1 diabetes to double by 2040

September 22, 2022  21:34

In 2021, there were about 8.4 million people worldwide with type 1 diabetes. That number is projected to rise to 13.5-17.4 million by 2040, according to a new study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

The 2017 Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology Commission on Diabetes in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as WHO, said there is an urgent need for data on Type 1 diabetes worldwide. 

Researchers modeled type 1 diabetes prevalence data for children, adolescents and adults in 97 countries, as well as incidence data over time from 65 countries and mortality data from 37 countries, to project type 1 diabetes incidence, prevalence and mortality in 2021 for 201 countries, with projections of future prevalence through 2040. 

It turns out that the number of people with type 1 diabetes in 2021 was 8.4 million. Of these, 18% are younger than 20 years old, 64% are aged 20-59, and 19% are over 60 years old. Although type 1 diabetes has historically been considered a disease associated with onset in childhood, these results show that significantly more adults than children are diagnosed each year (316,000 vs. 194,000 cases worldwide in 2021), and the average age of diagnosis is 32 years.

The ten countries with the highest estimated prevalence of type 1 diabetes are the United States, India, Brazil, China, Germany, United Kingdom, Russia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Spain, accounting for 5.08 million (60%) cases of type 1 diabetes worldwide. Model estimates show that 21% of people with type 1 diabetes live in low-income and low-income countries.

 Conservative estimates show a 66% relative increase in the number of people living with type 1 diabetes by 2040 compared to 2020.

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