The prevalence of diabetes has now been described in many different countries and settings, enabling a good understanding of global disease patterns. Interestingly, most of these large population-based studies do not differentiate between type 1 and type 2 diabetes and simply report the prevalence of all cases of diabetes. However, on the assumption that type 2 diabetes accounts for approximately 90% of all cases of diabetes, these data can be accepted as providing reliable information on type 2 diabetes.
The large numbers of published prevalence reports has allowed several estimates to be made of the global and country-specific burden of diabetes. Recent publications from the World Health Organization (1) and from the International Diabetes Federation (2) have provided data on the current numbers of people with diabetes, and projections for the year 2025 (Fig. 1 and Color Plate 1, following p. 34). Table 1 indicates that although the methods of the 2 estimates are somewhat different, a high degree of concordance between the 2 sets of findings exists.
The data indicate that a major increase in the numbers of people with diabetes is expected in the next 2 decades. A limitation of the methods used by WHO and IDF needs to be appreciated to understand the findings. Both analyses applied the age-specific prevalences of diabetes (i.e., the prevalence of diabetes within each of a number of age groups) reported in recently published studies to the age structure of the population of each country for the years in question. The predicted change in numbers of people with diabetes over the next 20 yr in this model depends only on the change in age profiles (as well as on changes in urbanization), and assumes that the risk of having diabetes for a 50 year old is the same at the time that the original study was undertaken as it will be in 20 yr time. On the basis of the changes witnessed over the last 20 yr, this appears to be unlikely, suggesting that the projections are likely to be underestimates.
The International Diabetes Federation Atlas for 2006 (3) reported national prevalences for adults aged 20-79 yr as varying between 1.5% for the central African state of Rwanda (based on data from Tanzania (4,5)) and 30% for the Pacific island of Nauru(6). Low prevalence countries (<2%) in which studies have been performed were, Mongolia (7), Indonesia (8), and Iceland (9), whereas the Middle-Eastern states of the United Arab Emirates (10) Bahrain (11) and Saudi Arabia (12-14), the Pacific archipelago of Tonga (15), and Singapore (16) in South East Asia had prevalences of over 12%, among their adult populations. The IDF analysis also included comparisons of prevalences, based on standardising all rates to a common age and sex structure. This made the emerging
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Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...