The number of people living with type 1 diabetes is set to double by 2040, according to estimates from the Lancet Modelling study released on Wednesday, adding that an estimated 8.4 million people were living with type 1 diabetes in 2021.
India is one of the 10 countries with the highest prevalence.
The ten countries with the highest estimated T1D prevalence–USA, India, Brazil, China, Germany, UK, Russia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Spain– account for 5.08 million (60%) of global cases of T1D. Model estimates also suggest that 21% of individuals with T1D live in low income countries ( LICs) and low and middle income countries (LMICs).
The number of type 1 diabetics in 2040 is predicted to increase to 13.5-17.4 million people, according to the results of a new modelling study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
“Given that prevalence of people with T1D is projected to increase in all countries to up to 17.5 million cases in 2040, our results provide a warning for substantial negative implications for societies and health care systems. There is an opportunity to save millions of lives in the coming decades by raising the standard of care for T1D (including ensuring universal access to insulin and other essential supplies) and increasing awareness of the signs and symptoms of T1D to enable a 100% rate of diagnosis in all countries,” Graham Ogle, co-author, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Australia, said in a statement.
“Our model, which will be made available open-source, will make data on the burden of T1D widely accessible and serve as a platform for stakeholders to make improvements in T1D care and outcomes.”
Data on T1D prevalence and mortality is rarely available in most countries – missing data usually relates to low and middle income countries and adult populations, with most previous studies calculating T1D incidence based on European and North American data.
The 2017 Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology Commission on Diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa, WHO, and WHA have all stated an urgent need for worldwide data on T1D.
This new study aims to answer these calls, providing modelling estimates that are highly comparable to observed data and estimating missing prevalence for the first time, providing a more meaningful basis for change in T1D care and policy, according to the authors.
Researchers modelled data on childhood, adolescent and adult T1D prevalence in 97 countries, along with incidence over time data from 65 countries and mortality data from 37 countries to predict T1D incidence, prevalence and mortality in 2021 for 201 countries, with projections of future prevalence through 2040.
“The estimates were tested for accuracy against real world prevalence data from 15 countries,” said the document.
In 2021, the model estimated that 8.4 million individuals worldwide were living with T1D. Of these individuals, 18% were under 20 years old, 64% were between 20-59 years, and 19% were over 60 years. Although historically T1D has been a disease associated with onset in childhood, these results reveal that numerically more adults than children are diagnosed every year (316,000 vs 194,000 incident cases worldwide in 2021), with a mean diagnosis age of 32 years.
“These findings have important implications for diagnosis, models of care, and peer support programs. Such programs, in countries where they exist, are almost exclusively designed and delivered for children and youth with T1D. In addition, our findings emphasise the urgent need for enhanced surveillance and data collection on T1D incidence, prevalence and mortality in adult populations – an area where data are especially scarce,” said Dianna Magliano, co-author, Monash University, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Melbourne Australia.