33 Most Interesting Facts About Diabetes (and Cool Stats)

Diabetes Statistics

Our interesting facts about diabetes are going to take you on a wild ride. From basic information that should be common knowledge, to some little known and rather surprising facts and stats.

Namely, diabetes — a metabolic disease that causes high levels of sugar in your blood — is caused by a hormone called insulin. The main function of insulin is to move sugar between red blood cells and store it for energy. However, as CDC diabetes statistics explain, when a person has diabetes, their body doesn’t make enough insulin, or it can’t use the insulin it produces. This leads to diabetes type 1 and 2, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes.

In case you’re suffering from diabetes and wondering whether you’re alone in this, just take a look at the following figures:

Most Interesting Facts About Diabetes for 2021

  • 9.3% of the global population has been diagnosed with diabetes.
  • Over 34 million Americans (10.5% of the US population) suffer from diabetes.
  • 7.3 million people in the US have diabetes but are not even aware of it.
  • 18,291 children under 20 have been diagnosed with T1D in the US.
  • It’s estimated that by 2050, over 5 million people will suffer from T1D.
  • T1D patients spend about $2,500 per year on treatment.
  • 42.7% of T2D patients refuse to use insulin therapy.
  • 90%–95% of overall diabetes cases belong to type 2.
  • Approximately 50% of women with gestational diabetes develop type 2 diabetes.
  • Regular cannabis use can decrease insulin resistance levels by 17%

Keep scrolling to find out more about the symptoms of diabetes, causes of diabetes, the link between diabetes and CBD oil, and much more.

Diabetes Statistics Worldwide

Just how many people are affected by this chronic condition? Which countries have the highest prevalence? And what’s the effect of coronavirus on diabetics? 

Here’s what the numbers show:

1. 9.3% of the global population has been diagnosed with diabetes.

(Statista) (Statista)

By the end of 2045, the number of cases is estimated to grow up to almost 11%. 

What’s more, it’s believed that the Western Pacific will be the leading region with over 212 million adults being diagnosed with diabetes by that time; followed by Southeast Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe.  

2. 59 million people died from diabetes-related complications in 2019.

(Statista)

Diabetes statistics (worldwide) from 2019 show us that the highest death rates were reported in South East Asia and Western Pacific, followed by Africa, the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, North America and the Caribbean, and South and Central America. 

3. The Marshall Islands have the highest ratio of diabetes diagnoses.

(World Population Review)

Based on the diabetes statistics from 2020, 30.5% of the population on the Marshall Islands suffers from this metabolic disorder. Kiribati takes second place with 22.5%, and third place goes to Tuvalu (22.1%). 

4. Over 34 million Americans (10.5% of the US population) suffer from diabetes.

(CDC) (Healthline)

The most frequent diabetes symptoms include increased hunger and thirst, weight loss, frequent urination, blurry vision, fatigue, and soreness that can’t heal. In addition to this, men may also experience erectile dysfunction, low sex drive, and loss of muscle strength. 

Of course, not all types of diabetes have the exact same symptoms.

5. The latest diabetes rates by state indicate West Virginia has the highest prevalence — 15.7%.

(State of Childhood Obesity)

Next in line are Mississippi (14.8%), Alabama (14%), Tennessee (13.8%), Arkansas (13.6%), and South Carolina (13.4%). On the other hand, the states with the lowest prevalence are Utah (8%), Wyoming (7.8%), Montana (7.6%), Alaska (7.3%), and Colorado (7%).

6. Patients with diabetes are at higher risk of losing their lives to COVID-19.

(Stat)

Diabetes and coronavirus death rates show us at least 30% of people who died from COVID-19 had diabetes. The risks of dying from the new virus are threefold for patients diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and twofold for patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. 

7. 7.3 million people in the US have diabetes but are not even aware of it.

(CDC)

The National diabetes statistics report from 2019 to 2020 reveals that as much as 2.8% of US citizens have undiagnosed diabetes. 

8. Merely 4% of people aged 18 to 44 have diabetes.

(Medical News Today)

The risk of getting diabetes increases with age. That’s why 17% of those aged 45 to 64, and more than 25% of those aged over 65 suffer from diabetes. In addition to this, approximately one-quarter of these people aren’t aware that they’re suffering from diabetes, US diabetes statistics report.

9. About 2.6% of global blindness is caused by diabetes.

(Its Health Care)

One of the more common causes of blindness is diabetic retinopathy, which occurs due to the long-term accumulated damage to the small blood vessels in the retina. It’s also one of the most common causes of kidney failure. Moreover, adults with diabetes have a higher chance of having a stroke or heart attack.

10. When it comes to diabetes rates by country, China is the world leader. 

(World Population Review) (Statista) (Springer Link)

Namely, this Asian country has around 116 million people with some form of diabetes, which shouldn’t come as a surprise seeing how it has approximately 1.4 billion inhabitants.

The “second best“ is India with some 77 million diabetics, whereas third place belongs to the US (34 million, as previously mentioned).  

Facts About Type 1 Diabetes  

There are three types of diabetes — type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. For starters, what can we learn about type 1 diabetes? 

11. 1.6 million Americans have Type 1 diabetes.

(JDRF) (ADA)

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) occurs when a person’s pancreas stops making insulin. As such, T1D can’t be prevented and there’s currently no cure for it. Moreover, any age group can be affected, but it mostly occurs in children and adults. 

Still, people suffering from T1D can manage their illness by balancing insulin intake with proper eating, exercise, and similar activities.

12. 18,291 children under 20 have been diagnosed with T1D in the US.

(Healthline)

CDC type 1 diabetes statistics show us there was an increase in T1D cases by a whopping 30%, especially among the younger population (aged 5–14). In addition to that, there was a noticeable increase (nearly 20%) among Black and Hispanic children. 

13. The prevalence of T1D among children and teens is highest in the UK.

(Statista

The latest European statistics show us that over 39,000 children and teens have been diagnosed with T1D in the UK, followed by Germany (33,095), and France (27,275). 

Based on the same type 1 diabetes statistics, the countries with the lowest rates are Iceland, Malta, Luxembourg, and Latvia. 

14. It’s estimated that by 2050, over 5 million people will suffer from T1D.

(NCBI)

Despite the current medical advances and preventive measures, diabetes will remain one of the leading health crises in the US. As stated by the latest type one diabetes facts, the prevalence of both type 1 and 2 diabetes will grow by 54% from 2015 to 2030.

15. T1D patients spend about $2,500 per year on treatment.

(Jama Network) (Healthline) (Diabetes Self Management)

Insulin is not the only supply that people spend their money on. A lot of their funds are allocated to syringes, insulin pumps — which cost a whopping $6,000 if you don’t have health insurance — and continuous glucose monitors which can cost as much as $1,000. 

6 Stats and Facts About Type 2 Diabetes

What about the prevalence of type 2 diabetes? 

Let’s find out!

16. T2D diagnosis can be avoided 9 out of 10 times. 

(Harvard T.H.Chan)

How to avoid getting diagnosed with type 2 diabetes? You need to control your weight, have a healthy diet, avoid tobacco use, and cut on the added sugar. Regular physical activity is also of immense help.

17. Type 2 diabetes statistics worldwide state that 90%–95% of overall diabetes cases belong to type 2. 

(CDC) (Healthline)

We still don’t know what causes diabetes; however, its prevalence is higher with type 2. 

Likewise, women and men are equally at risk of becoming diabetics. Be that as it may, it’s more frequent among specific ethnicities (Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Blacks, and Hispanics). 

18. Over 75% of children with type 2 diabetes have a family history of the illness.

(CDC)

As stated by childhood diabetes statistics, children who have a close relative with T2D are more likely to suffer from it, but this may not be the main reason. T2D in children can also be caused by common habits that increase the risk of T2D. 

19. Type 2 diabetes most often affects people older than 45.

(CDC)

It can also affect children and teenagers, but those cases are rare. What causes diabetes of this type is the pancreas’ inability to keep up with high levels of sugar in the blood.

20. Perhaps the most worrying, type 2 diabetes statistics indicate that 42.7% of T2D patients refuse to use insulin therapy.

(Wiley Online Library) (American Action Forum)

Type 2 diabetes requires serious therapy that controls the levels of sugar in the blood. As insulin is the best way to do just that, it’s often prescribed as treatment. 

Still, a lot of people avoid it for many reasons. The most common being its high price. 

It’s also estimated that by 2024 the price of insulin might reach a mind-blowing $12,446 per patient. 

21. There is a new alternative therapy for patients with type 2 diabetes that could replace insulin.

(Medical News Today)

Type 2 diabetes facts and studies all point to the duodenal mucosal resurfacing technique (DMR) as the best way to treat T2D patients. The research, which was conducted on 16 diabetes patients, showed promising results — 75% of patients managed to keep their blood sugar levels balanced without the use of insulin. 

However, more research is needed given that the inner workings of this therapy are still relatively unknown.

Gestational Diabetes Statistics 

The third type of diabetes is called gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), which is most often linked with pregnancy. In other words, women that are not diagnosed with diabetes can develop high levels of blood sugar while carrying a child. 

Yet, just how frequent is this type? 

Read on and find out!

22. Gestational diabetes affects 1 in 6 childbirths.

(IDF) (CDC)

Gestational diabetes usually develops when the body is not producing enough insulin during pregnancy. Statistics on diabetes also highlight that GDM can impact the child’s health by increasing the risk of premature birth, being born overweight (9 pounds or more), having low levels of blood sugar, etc.

23. Approximately 50% of women with gestational diabetes develop type 2 diabetes.

(CDC)

Gestational diabetes usually goes away after delivery, but in some cases, it can evolve into T2D. And according to recent interesting facts about diabetes, the risk can be lowered if a woman maintains a healthy body weight after delivery; keeping track of blood sugar levels regularly for up to 3 years after delivery is a must, too.

24. Gestational diabetes usually occurs around the 24th week of pregnancy.

(Good to Know)

Most common symptoms include fatigue, excessive thirst, blurred vision, frequent urination, weight loss despite an increased appetite, nausea, and vomiting. Yet, there may be no symptoms at all or they can be relatively mild.

Super Interesting Facts About Diabetes and CBD   

Can CBD help with diabetes treatment? 

Let’s check the latest figures!

25. Regular cannabis use can decrease insulin resistance levels by a solid 17%.

(Diabetes Daily)

Research has confirmed that there’s a strong link between the use of CBD oil and diabetes. Cannabidiol (CBD)  is extracted from cannabis; but unlike THC, it can’t get you “high.” 

Moreover, it’s most often taken orally — in liquid form or via pills — in states where it’s legal.

26. Compared to diabetes treatments, CBD oil costs less.

(Jama Network) (Green and Prosperous

We already mentioned the high prices of insulin and other diabetes supplies. A quick recap — people, on average, spend as much as $2,500 per year on supplies, whereas another 8% of people spend a staggering $5,000 per year. 

Conversely, a bottle of CBD oil costs as low as $35. 

27. Interesting facts about diabetes and CBD regarding treatments confirm that CBD oil has less frequent side effects.

(CellIsolateCBDOil)

The most common CBD oil side effects include nausea, anxiety, mood changes, and diarrhea. Generally, the downsides are similar to the side effects of some ordinary meds and are less frequent compared to diabetes medications.

Diabetes Myths and Facts

Now, let’s talk about the most common diabetes myths that many people believe in (but shouldn’t). 

28. Diabetes is not a serious health issue.

(Medical News Today)

One of the main myths concerning diabetes is that it’s not a serious condition. 

However, every type of diabetes should be taken seriously; seeing how it can cause eye problems, kidney disease, stroke, heart diseases, high blood pressure, bone and joint problems, skin problems, and many other issues.

29. Diabetes patients have to follow a strict diet.

(WebMD)

There’s no such thing as a diabetic diet. 

If you’re overweight, you should take care of that ASAP. Namely, interesting facts about diabetes show that losing weight will improve your glucose levels, as will eating or avoiding certain types of food.

30. All diabetics go blind or lose a limb.

(Diabetes)

Diabetes is the leading cause of limb amputation and blindness. However, people who manage their diabetes and lead a healthy life are more likely to avoid these complications. Complications can also be prevented by regulating normal blood pressure and glucose levels.

31. Eating sugar is the main cause of diabetes.

(Medline Plus)

As obesity and diabetes statistics have shown, this is yet another myth. What we eat affects our blood sugar levels, so confusion may come from this. Sugary foods can make us overweight, and that increases our chances of getting diabetes.

32. Patients who use insulin have a more serious case of diabetes than those who use oral medications.

(Health Hub)

Patients with T1D can’t produce insulin, so they have to inject it, while T2D patients may use the combination of oral medications and injections.

33. Diabetes patients shouldn’t exercise.

(The Healthy)

Most studies and diabetes facts have shown that regular exercise can, in fact, help lower sugar levels and manage diabetes better. However, it’s especially important to consult your doctor first about the type of exercises that would be suitable for you.

Bottom Line

Both genes and environmental factors can have an impact on triggering diabetes. It can lead to some serious health issues, and although it can’t be cured, it can be successfully managed by a general lifestyle change. Knowing these statistics and interesting facts about diabetes can help you in the early detection of the illness in people you care about, or yourself. If you suspect you might have diabetes, be sure to contact your doctor. 

In addition, don’t forget to ask them about alternative forms of treatment, such as medical marijuana or CBD oil since they seem to be quite efficient.

FAQs

What is diabetes and can it be cured?

Blood glucose is the main source of energy for our bodies, and it comes from the food we consume. When glucose levels become too high, diabetes occurs. It can’t be cured, but it can be managed successfully. In case you’re using medical cannabis or CBD oil for it, be careful as both can trigger most drug tests.

What percentage of the population has diabetes in the UK?

About 3.5 million people in the UK suffer from diabetes. This makes up 6% of the UK population. Meaning, as much as 1 in 16 people has diabetes in the UK — diagnosed or otherwise. 

Statistics also show that the majority of these cases are type 2 diabetes. And around 56% of men have diabetes, as opposed to just 44% of women.

What percentage of the population has diabetes?

It’s estimated that roughly 463 million people across the world suffer from diabetes. That’s about 9.3% of the world population. Moreover, 1 in 5 people over 65 are diabetics, while 232 million people live with undiagnosed diabetes. 

That said, there are over 1.1 million children and teens worldwide struggling with type 1 diabetes.

What country has the highest rate of diabetes?

China, India, and the US are the countries with the highest rates of diabetes on the planet. In fact, about 116 million Chinese are diabetics, 77 million Indians live with this disorder, and some 34 million Americans were also diagnosed with diabetes. 

When it comes to countries with the highest ratio of diabetics (compared to the overall population), the Marshall Islands (30.5%), Kiribati (22.5%), and Tuvalu (22.1%) are the top three candidates. 

What is the number 1 cause of diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus, or diabetes, is a metabolic disease that causes high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. There are three types of diabetes, type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. It’s still unknown what causes diabetes; however, there are a few risk factors that include obesity, family history, age, high blood pressure, resistance to insulin, and ethnicity. 

What are the current statistics on diabetes in America?

10.5% of the US population suffers from diabetes. Likewise, some 7.3 million Americans live with this metabolic disease and are completely unaware of it. 

Additionally, West Virginia is the state that has the highest prevalence of diabetes, i.e., 15.7%, followed by Mississippi (14.8%), Alabama (14%), Tennessee (13.8%), and Arkansas (13.6%). 

Positive interesting facts about diabetes show the lowest prevalence rates include Colorado (7%), Alaska (7.3%), Montana (7.6%), and Wyoming (7.8%).

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