Economic burden of diabetes type 2 worldwide Essay Example

Economic Burden of Diabetes Type 2 Worldwide

Economic Burden of Diabetes Type 2 Worldwide


Diabetes type 2, otherwise known as diabetes mellitus is has become a global health problem. The prevalence of diabetes mellitus has increased exponentially not only in the developed world, but also in the developing nations, where the disease is causing serious economic challenges to the affected. Until recently, diabetes was underrated as a global health problem. The World Health Organization (WHO) (2017) report indicates that there are more than 450 million adults with diabetes globally. The report indicates that, in 1980, there were only 108 million people with diabetes, but the number has since risen to more than 450 million people. This suggests that the number of people with diabetes has more than quadrupled since 1980. The current statistics also indicate that one in every 10 people have diabetes globally, which marks a huge increase compared to the last decades (Zimmet et al., 2016). The other shift noted is that, there are more men with diabetes than women today compared to 1980, when diabetes prevalence was higher in women than men. It is projected that, if the current trend is left to continue, then more than 700 million people will be affected by diabetes by 2025.

Moreover, recent statistics from the WHO and Medscape indicate that the prevalence of diabetes has risen significantly in developing countries than in developed world (Hackethal, 2016). In 1980s, diabetes was known to be a disease for people in the developed countries. However, this is no longer the case as the high rates of diabetes are currently reported in countries, such as Oceania, North Africa and the Middle East. In these countries, the rates of diabetes is ten times more now than it is in Northern Europe and Western nations that currently has the lowest rates. However, the WHO (2017) report indicates that, India, China, the United States, Indonesia and Brazil have the highest diabetes prevalence rates globally with the five countries accounting for more than 50% of diabetes cases globally. When divided by regions, Pacific Island has the highest prevalence of diabetes worldwide, according to the latest statistical figures. In this part of the world, diabetes rates currently stand is more than 20% for both men and women. Pacific Island is followed closely by the Middle East, Melanesia and North Africa, where diabetes prevalence now stands at 15% (Hackethal, 2016). The United States is another country with a high diabetes prevalence rate with more than 29.1 million individuals now struggling with the disease. Northwestern European nations, such as Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium have the lowest diabetes prevalence rate of 4% to 6% (Hackethal, 2016).

Diabetes is having serious economic burdens in the countries that are worst affected. In 2015, an estimated 1.6 million people died from diabetes. In the same year, more than 2.2 million deaths occurred due to hypertension (Liebl et al., 2015). Accordingly, the WHO (2016) projects that, by 2030, diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death. People with diabetes also spend a lot of money on diabetes medications and treatments and these entire causes economic burden on the affected population. This review provides the economic burden associated with diabetes mellitus globally to highlight the policy makers needed to address this growing health problem.


Hackethal, V. (2016). Type 2 diabetes rates quadruple worldwide since 1980. Retrieved from

Liebl, A., Khunti, K., Orozco-Beltran, D., & Yale, J. (2015). Health economic evaluation of type 2 diabetes mellitus: A clinical practice focused review. Clinical Medicine Insights: Endocrinology and Diabetes, 8, 13-19. DOI: 10.4137/CMED.S20906

WHO. (2016). Global report on diabetes. Retrieved from

WHO. (2017). Diabetes. Retrieved from

Zimmet, P., Alberti, K. G., Magliano, D. J., & Bennett, P. H. (2016). Diabetes mellitus statistics on prevalence and mortality: facts and fallacies. Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 12, 616–622. doi:10.1038/nrendo.2016.105