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6 Key Statistics on Diabetes

Written by: Chris Riley

Medically Reviewed by: Erik Rivera

Number 1:  Between March of 2020 to September of 2020, prevalence of diabetes in patients (with a mean age of 61.3 in diabetic group and 52.3 in nondiabetic) admitted with COVID-19 was 9.8% while the prevalence in the general population is 8.5%.  Furthermore, 17.5% of diabetic patients with COVID-19 had died while only 12% of nondiabetic patients with COVID-19 died.

Summary:  In comparison to individuals without diabetes, the rate of ICU admission, ventilation, and mortality rate were significantly higher in those patients with diabetes. 

Source: Zakerkish, M., Fooladi, M. S., Shahbazian, H. B., Ahmadi, F., Payami, S. P., & Dargahi-Malamir, M. (2022). Assessment of mortality rate, need for ICU admission and ventilation in COVID-19 patients with diabetes mellitus. Qatar Medical Journal, 2022(1), 9.

Number 2: 1 in 4 Americans cannot afford insulin and seek out illegitimate internet companies for cheaper insulin. In an internet query search, 59% of the internet companies selling lower cost insulin were illegitimate and only 14% were legitimate, and 27% were unclassified.  Furthermore, 57% of companies did not require a prescription, 43% had no medication warning, and only 21% offered access to pharmacists.

Summary:   With the internet offering ease of access to cheaper, but illegitimate companies selling low priced insulin draws a call to attention to better search engine filters, a need to raise awareness about illegitimate companies in order to prevent adverse consequences from poor diabetes control measures. 

Source: Penley1, B., Minshew2, L., Chen1, H.-H., Eckel1, S., Ozawa1, S., 1Division of Practice Advancement and Clinical Education, & Ozawa, C. A. S. (2022, February 22). Accessibility of low-cost insulin from illegitimate internet pharmacies: Cross-sectional study. Journal of Medical Internet Research. Retrieved July 21, 2022, from

Number 3:  In Finland, Type 1 diabetic deaths contributed to 64% of deaths, 96% in Japan, 83% in Israel, and 75% in the United States.

Summary:  These findings suggest that, despite advances in management and care, individuals with diabetes are still at a higher risk of death and a need for a continual monitoring of mortality rates, especially in the United States, with a need of developing better healthcare treatments.

Source:  National Library of Medicine; Secrest AM, Washington RE, Orchard TJ. Mortality in Type 1 Diabetes. In: Cowie CC, Casagrande SS, Menke A, et al., editors. Diabetes in America. 3rd edition. Bethesda (MD): National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (US); 2018 Aug. CHAPTER 35. Available from:

Number 4: In a group ranging from ages 20-79, the number of excess deaths attributable to diabetes is estimated to be 3.96 million, 6.8% of global mortality.  Diabetes counts for 6% of deaths in African regions and in North America 15.7%. 

Summary: These numbers indicate that diabetes is a substantial cause in premature death and the numbers are likely to increase, especially in lower and middle income regions of the world. 

Source: Elsevier; Roglic, G., & Unwin, N. (2010). Mortality attributable to diabetes: estimates for the year 2010. Diabetes research and clinical practice, 87(1), 15-19.

Number 5: Diabetes holds about 75% of the national burden in low and middle income countries. The prevalence of diabetes was 8.8% in 800,000 adults, 4.8% undiagnosed. A total unmet need of diabetic care was discovered to be 77%.

Summary: Researchers merged data from nationally representative surveys of low and middle income countries from years 2008 and 2016.  These findings are indicative of a growing challenge in these countries to establish a universal health care system as well as a need for better resources to manage diabetes care.

Source: PLOS Medicine; Manne-Goehler, J., Geldsetzer, P., Agoudavi, K., Andall-Brereton, G., Aryal, K. K., Bicaba, B. W., … & Jaacks, L. M. (2019). Health system performance for people with diabetes in 28 low-and middle-income countries: a cross-sectional study of nationally representative surveys. PLoS medicine, 16(3), e1002751.

Number 6: Between 2001 and 2012, prevalence of diabetes increased among Medicare beneficiaries.  Between 2012 and 2015 there was stability, then after 2015, the prevalence of diabetes among Medicare beneficiaries decreased.  In 2015, the overall prevalence of diabetes was 36%  and incidence was 3.0% for Medicare beneficiaries 65 and over. 

Summary:  This study utilized surveys in aging populations that were Medicare beneficiaries. Medicare surveys, being more detailed, offer better surveillance on older populations that carry a higher disease burden.  Further surveillance of these trends would benefit the older populations and offer monitoring of disease prevention and management

Source:  National Center for Biotechnology Information; Andes, L. J., Li, Y., Srinivasan, M., Benoit, S. R., Gregg, E., & Rolka, D. B. (2019). Diabetes prevalence and incidence among Medicare beneficiaries—United States, 2001–2015. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 68(43), 961.

fact checked and medically reviewed

References and Sources:

Assessment of Mortality Rate, Need for ICU Admission and Ventilation in COVID-19 Patients with Diabetes Mellitus

Accessibility of low-cost insulin from illegitimate internet pharmacies: Cross-sectional study

Diabetes in America

Mortality attributable to diabetes: estimates for the year 2010. Diabetes research and clinical practice

Health system performance for people with diabetes in 28 low- and middle-income countries: A cross-sectional study of nationally representative surveys

Diabetes Prevalence and Incidence Among Medicare Beneficiaries — United States, 2001–2015

We are committed to providing our readers with only trusted resources and science-based studies with regards to medication and health information. 

Disclaimer: This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. If you suspect medical problems or need medical help or advice, please talk with your healthcare professional.

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