41 Vital Diabetes Statistics & Facts You Must Keep in Mind

Diabetes Statistics

Diabetes is a serious condition that is characterized by high blood sugar levels. There are two well-known variants: type 1 and type 2. While these two conditions are different, they are both very serious and need to be treated as such. The article below will deal with important diabetes statistics and facts, packed with data worth your consideration. 

The core problem with diabetes, no matter the type, is that it leads to people having too much glucose in their bloodstream. Now, glucose itself is rather useful—we use it as energy. The carbs we ingest are broken down into this chemical, which is then released into our bloodstream. This happens via the pancreas and the insulin it secretes.

Namely, insulin allows the glucose found in our blood to enter our cells. Without insulin, we can’t really use glucose as fuel. Diabetes basically prevents the pancreas from releasing the appropriate amount of insulin, thus keeping our cells from absorbing glucose properly.

These are just some of the diabetes facts you’ll learn from this article, so read on to catch up on the latest statistics about this widespread chronic condition.

Key Diabetes Stats and Facts to be Aware of in 2020

  • There are more than two types of diabetes.
  • Gestational diabetes can lead to the baby and the mother developing diabetes later in life.
  • Lifestyle changes can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by almost 58% if you suffer from prediabetes.
  • Most diabetes sufferers are aged somewhere between 40 and 59.
  • Urbanization, aging populations, and sedentary lifestyles lead to type 2 diabetes.
  • There’s no cure for diabetes at the moment.
  • Around 422 million people around the world suffer from diabetes.
  • In 2016, diabetes was the 7th leading cause of death on a global scale.
  • The worldwide prevalence of diabetes among adults almost doubled between 1980 and 2014.
  • In 2017, the total cost of diabetes in the United States amounted to $327 billion.

General Facts About Diabetes

1. There are more than two types of diabetes.

(Diabetes UK)

This may come as a surprise as most people only know of type 1 and type 2, and that they differ. However, people should also educate themselves on the existence of neonatal diabetes, Wolfram syndrome, Ahlstrom syndrome, and gestational diabetes.

2. More than 25% of seniors have diabetes.

(American Diabetes Association)

The statistics on diabetes show that this condition is very common in people 65 and older. In fact, the prevalence rate among this group in America is 25.2%. This makes up more than 12 million senior citizens who are affected by diabetes.

3. Gestational diabetes can lead to the baby and the mother developing diabetes later in life.


Diabetes during pregnancy (i.e., gestational diabetes) has no clear cause. However, gestational diabetes statistics show that when it does occur, both the mother and the baby are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes at some point in the future.

4. Lifestyle changes can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by almost 58% if you suffer from prediabetes.


Prediabetes is a condition characterized by high blood sugar levels, which in most cases can lead to the development of full-blown type 2 diabetes. While the type 1 diabetes facts are not as clear on prevention, you can be certain that catching the condition in the prediabetes stage and implementing certain lifestyle changes can help keep you from developing the type 2 variant.

5. Most diabetes sufferers are aged somewhere between 40 and 59.

(International Diabetes Federation)

Among some of the more interesting facts about diabetes is that most sufferers internationally are aged between 40 and 59. The general assumption has been that this condition occurs later in life, but data gathered by the IDF states otherwise.

6. Individuals suffering from diabetes have 2.3 times higher expenses for the same medical issues.

(Diabetes Care Journal)

Diabetes is a difficult condition that influences our quality of life, and our bank accounts. Regular medical costs are notably more expensive when one has to deal with this condition.

7. Urbanization, aging populations, and sedentary lifestyles lead to type 2 diabetes.

(International Diabetes Federation)

According to what the type 2 diabetes facts have shown, the core diabetes causes center around a person’s environment. Namely, an aging population, urbanization, and the advent of sedentary lifestyles, all coupled with poor eating habits and not enough exercise, lead to the increasing occurrence of this condition.

8. There’s no cure for diabetes at the moment.

(Diabetes UK)

The diabetes statistics from 2019 show that there is, unfortunately, no cure for diabetes as of yet. The condition is highly manageable, however, and type 2 diabetes is also preventable through healthy lifestyle changes when detected early enough. Quitting smoking, lowering the consumption of unhealthy foods, and regularly exercising can all help reduce the chance of developing diabetes.

Global Stats on Diabetes

9. Over 1.5 million deaths are caused directly by diabetes.

(The World Health Organization)

The data gathered by the WHO is rather grim. Every year, over 1.5 million deaths worldwide are caused directly by diabetes. The most common cause is inadequate treatment and poor access to medication.

10. Around 422 million people around the world suffer from diabetes.

(The World Health Organization)

The diabetes statistics worldwide demonstrate that it’s a very common global condition. The research gathered shows that 422 million people around the globe suffer from the condition, which is one in eleven people, worldwide.

11. Most diabetes-related deaths happen in low- and mid-income countries.

(International Diabetes Federation)

According to the diabetes statistics gathered by IDF, most deaths caused by diabetes happen in low- and mid-income countries. The most likely reason is minimal education about diabetes, as well as poorer medical facilities.

12.  In 2016, diabetes was the 7th leading cause of death on a global scale.

(The World Health Organization)

The diabetes statistics from 2016 show that its the seventh most common cause of death worldwide. Even in powerful first world countries, it’s one of the leading sources of mortality. For example, it is also number seven among the leading causes of death in the US

13. North America and the Caribbean have the highest prevalence of diabetes in the world (15.4%).

(International Diabetes Federation)

The diabetes facts show that the highest levels of diabetes can be found in the North American and Caribbean region, making up 15.4% of all global cases (around 64 million people).

Diabetes and Your Health

14. Adults suffering from diabetes are 3 times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.


Regarding the data and related obesity and diabetes statistics, it has been shown that those with diabetes are also far more susceptible to having a heart attack or stroke. The built-up blood sugar caused by insulin resistance contributes to heart issues and to the development of atherosclerosis, thus increasing the chance of blood vessel blockages (and subsequently, of stroke). 

15. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of kidney failure.


Further facts about diabetes (type 1 and type 2) show that this condition is one of the leading causes of kidney failure, according to a paper published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases. In essence, the high levels of blood sugar damage the tiny “filters” found in the kidneys, causing them to fail.

16. Diabetes is responsible for 2.6% of the cases of blindness worldwide.

(Lancet Global Health)

The statistics of diabetes and diabetes-related issues show that of the total instances of blindness, diabetes is responsible for 2.6%. Namely, diabetic retinopathy is caused by high blood sugar levels, which damages the blood vessels in the retina.

17. More than 50% of women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome suffer from diabetes.


According to the Centers for Disease Control, the diabetes statistics on women who suffer from PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) show that they have a 50% chance of developing type 2 diabetes by the time they reach 40. 

The Prevalence and Cost of Diabetes

18. The worldwide prevalence of diabetes among adults almost doubled between 1980 and 2014.

(The World Health Organization)

According to the diabetes stats from 2014, when compared to statistics from the 1980s, the prevalence of diabetes among adults has risen from 4.7% to 8.5%. The most likely cause is the availability of unhealthy foods and the spread of sedentary lifestyles and occupations.

19. It is expected that the total number of diabetes patients will rise to upwards of 629 million people by 2045.

(International Diabetes Federation)

According to the not so fun facts about diabetes, the IDF expects that in a quarter of a century, the number of cases will rise from 415 million to 629 million. This is a staggering increase of almost 30%.

20. In 2017, the total cost of diabetes in the United States amounted to $327 billion.

(Diabetes Care Journal)

According to the relevant US diabetes statistics, the costs tied to diabetes amount to $327 billion, more than 40% of the global worldwide cost. Of this, the loss of productivity due to diabetes-caused fatigue, absenteeism, disability, and death amounts to around $90 billion.

21. By 2045, the IDF estimates that expenditures tied to diabetes will be over $776 billion worldwide.

(International Diabetes Federation)

The IDF has presented a diabetes facts sheet containing very sobering data. Namely, all the expenses and costs that are tied to diabetes will amount to over $776 billion on a worldwide scale. This increase from 2017’s $727 billion includes care and medication, as well as missed days of work and lower productivity.

22. The average diabetes expenses for a single US patient amount to $16,750 per year.

(Diabetes Care Journal)

According to the diabetes statistics from 2017, the average diabetic in the US has expenses amounting to $16,750 surrounding their condition. Of this sum, around $9,600 can be attributed directly to diabetes, while the rest of it centers on the increased cost of other medical expenses caused by diabetes.

Diabetes Statistics in America

23. Over 84 million Americans suffer from prediabetes.


Over a third of adult Americans suffer from prediabetes, that’s 84 million people, or 33.9% of the entire population. This condition is characterized by increased blood sugar levels and is often followed by the actual development of type 2 diabetes.

24. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the US.

(American Diabetes Association)

The American Diabetes Association has statistics and other useful data showing that diabetes is indeed the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, this rank isn’t so far from stroke and heart attacks, and diabetes statistics from 2020 might be even worse.

25. Over 30 million people (i.e., 9.4% of the population) in the US suffer from diabetes.


According to the CDC’s National Diabetes Statistics Report from 2017, almost 10% of the population in the US has some form of diabetes. This number includes both type 1 and type 2, as well as every other variant of diabetes, but with the exclusion of prediabetes.

26. Around 1.25 million Americans have type 1 diabetes.

(American Diabetes Association)

Of the two primary diabetes types, type 1 is much less prevalent.  Namely, the type 1 diabetes statistics are pretty clear, showing that around 5% of diabetes patients suffer from it.

27. Around 29 million Americans have type 2 diabetes.

(American Diabetes Association)

Most diabetes patients suffer from the type 2 variant. This ends up being around 95% of those suffering from diabetes, totaling more than 29 million people, according to the research into these type 2 diabetes statistics.

28. In the US, around 90% of the instances of prediabetes go undiagnosed.


A staggering number of prediabetes cases in America have not been diagnosed by a medical professional. Over 90% of the people who have this condition simply don’t know it. The most likely culprit is the fact that prediabetes shows no direct symptoms or ill effects, which could play a big role in these CDC diabetes statistics.

29. Over 190,000 Americans under 20 years old have diabetes (0.24% of the population).

(American Diabetes Association)

To be more specific, there are 193,000 Americans younger than 20 projected to have diabetes. This is around 2% to 3% of all diabetes patients and 0.24% of the entire US population. 

30. The relevant CDC diabetes stats show that over 7.2 million people suffering from diabetes go undiagnosed (23.8% of diabetes sufferers in the US).


Many people living with diabetes are left undiagnosed in the United States. The data is pretty clear: almost 23.8% of people who have diabetes in the US don’t even know they have it, putting them at greater risk for additional health complications.


Diabetes is a difficult condition, but one you can live with nonetheless. With proper practice, tenacity, and thoroughness, you can spend your entire life without the condition affecting your quality of life at all. The diabetes statistics above are certainly sobering, but they’re far from hopeless. Reading about the types of diabetes we might suffer from and getting as much data as possible are the first steps toward gaining control over our health and our lives.


What causes diabetes?

The core causes of diabetes vary. For type 2 diabetes, most often an inactive lifestyle, obesity, and a poor diet contribute to its occurrence. The specific cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown, though it’s mostly attributed to genetics and environmental factors. However, gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy, most often caused by the hormonal changes that occur during this period.

Genetic mutations that damage or affect the pancreas most often lead to the occurrence of diabetes as well. For example, cystic fibrosis leads to scarring in the pancreas, while hemochromatosis forces the body to store too much iron, which also damages this insulin-producing organ.

What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?

The key differences between type 1 vs. type 2 diabetes revolve around insulin. Namely, insulin allows glucose, the fuel we need to function, to enter our cells. Without glucose, we have no energy. Type 1 diabetics don’t produce insulin at all, as their white blood cells attack their pancreas. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, doesn’t respond well to insulin, and in the later stages, patients have difficulty producing appropriate levels of this hormone.

How many Americans have diabetes?

Over 30 million people in America suffer from diabetes. However, if we include prediabetes in this number, then, according to the diabetes statistics published by the CDC in 2017, there are over 110 million people living with these conditions.

How many people die from diabetes?

The World Health Organization reports that around 1.6 million deaths occur every year due to diabetes. However, another 2.2 million deaths can be attributed to high blood glucose, making that number around 3.8 million lives lost every year.

What are the current statistics on diabetes in America?

According to statistics, this condition is a leading cause of death in the US, taking over 83,000 lives annually. Furthermore, almost 10% of Americans suffer from this condition.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

Diabetes might show symptoms quickly, or it may develop gradually over time. In the case of how to know if you have diabetes, note that no matter what type of diabetes you may have, most warning signs are rather similar. The most common signs are extreme thirst coupled with a dry mouth. Random bouts of hunger and fatigue that don’t really make sense are common. Irritability and blurred vision are also ubiquitous, as are yeast infections and dry and itchy skin.

How can you prevent diabetes?

Keep in mind that diabetes is sadly incurable. However, its occurrence can be prevented. When it comes to how to prevent diabetes, cutting out sugar and refined carbs, or at least minimizing them significantly can make a difference. Try to stay physically active and try to completely remove sugary drinks from your diet. Quit smoking, and work on losing weight if you’re overweight or obese.

Now, the pancreas is what produces insulin, and keeping it as healthy as possible can also be very beneficial. Herbs like curcumin, for example, can work wonders. Check with your doctor and see if they have any supplements they can recommend.

What is pre-diabetes?

Prediabetes is a condition where your blood sugar levels are abnormal—or higher than average. However, they aren’t high enough for you to be diagnosed with diabetes. Prediabetes has no symptoms, but the range for prediabetes blood sugar levels is around 100 to 125 milligrams per deciliter.

Even though it isn’t actually a cause of diabetes, it almost always precedes it.

What percentage of diabetes patients have type 2?

Type 2 diabetes is much more common compared to type 1 (and other types). The causes of type 2 diabetes are mostly lifestyle-related. This means that it’s much easier to prevent, but it’s also much more prevalent. Between 90%–95% of all diabetes patients have type 2.

How many carbs per meal are best for diabetes type 2 patients?

Every person is different, and the best way to figure out how much you need is to talk to your doctor. However, there have been reports that people responded excellently to very low-carb diets. As little as 100 to 150 grams has been proven to be very beneficial.

How common is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes affects somewhere between 3% and 9% of pregnancies, according to current data and research. The cause is unknown but is most often seen as a side effect of hormones acting up within a woman’s body during pregnancy.

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