Research is showing that type 1 diabetes is rising worldwide and it could affect millions of individuals and families in the future.
In past decades, type 1 diabetes was not as common as it is now. People who have type 1 diabetes have a pancreas that does not make enough insulin, which is a hormone that converts food into energy. Type 1 diabetes usually affects children and young adults but it can happen at any age. Research is now showing that the number of people with type 1 diabetes is on the rise and could increase significantly in the next twenty years. This research is alarming because diabetes can lead to negative health consequences and possibly even death.
A recent study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal predicts that type 1 diabetes will increase all around the world by the year 2040. Currently, there are approximately 8.7 million people with type 1 diabetes and it is predicted that by 2040 that number could increase to 17 million.1
The study suggests that the United States, India, Brazil, China, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Spain have the highest rates of type 1 diabetes. These counties have over 5 million people living with type 1 diabetes and account for approximately 60% of type 1 diabetes cases.1
In 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a press release stating that the rate of type 1 diabetes was rising in the United States and the number of people under the age of twenty years old that are experiencing type 1 diabetes had increased by 45%.2 Per Dr. Giuseppina Imperatore from the CDC, “Compared to people who develop diabetes in adulthood, youth are more likely to develop diabetes complications at an earlier age and are at higher risk of premature death.”2
People may wonder why there is such an increase in type 1 diabetes taking place. It is thought that the increase could be due to better testing, diagnosis, management, access to care, and awareness. Although living with diabetes has become more manageable it can put a greater burden on those individuals, families, and the healthcare system. Per Dr. Marilyn Tan at Stanford University, “diabetes doubles the cardiovascular risk and increases the risk of other complications such as eye disease, kidney disease, neuropathy, and infections. Patients with poorly controlled diabetes frequently also fare less well than patients without diabetes.”1 Oftentimes people with diabetes need more healing time, healthcare needs, and expensive medications and diabetes supplies. Health experts agree that more research, awareness, and better access to care are going to be needed to save lives from the complications of type 1 diabetes in the future.
- Pratt, E. (2022, October 6). Why type 1 diabetes are expected to double by 2040. Healthline. Retrieved October 13, 2022
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, August 24). New research uncovers concerning increases in youth living with diabetes in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 13, 2022