8 Diabetes Stats That Will Make You Seriously Rethink The Disease

Eye opening.
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Illness -- in any form -- can be devastating to a person and their family. And no one knows that better than people who experience diabetes.

In honor of World Health Day on April 7, the World Health Organization is bringing information about diabetes to the forefront of people's minds. Most importantly, they're also creating attention for the people who suffer from it.

Diabetes occurs when the body doesn't produce or properly use insulin, a hormone in the body responsible for creating glucose. Glucose, in turn, is the body's blood sugar, which is needed for immediate energy as well as storage of energy in the muscles and fat cells for later use. While Type 1 diabetes, which is usually diagnosed in childhood, is not yet preventable, Type 2 may be avoided with the right health behaviors.

Diabetes affects so many lives and can jeopardize a person's health in multiple ways. Below are eight staggering statistics that will open your eyes to the impact of the disease:

422 Million

The total number of people globally who have been diagnosed with diabetes, according to 2014 data. That's 8.5 percent of the population. In 1980, only 108 million had the disease.

1.5 Million

The number of people who died from a diabetes-related issue in 2012. High-glucose levels -- a symptom of diabetes -- caused an increase in cardiovascular and other diseases, which resulted in an additional 2.2 million deaths.

86 Million

The number of people in the United States who are considered to have "prediabetes."


The percentage of U.S. adults who are overweight or obese, a health issue that can lead to the development of Type 2 diabetes, according to 2012 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

8.1 Million

The number of people in the U.S. who likely have diabetes and are undiagnosed.

$245 Billion

The total medical costs and amount of lost work wages for people with diabetes, according to 2014 statistics.


The percentage of low-income countries that report an availability of insulin to treat people with diabetes in publicly-funded healthcare facilities. In contrast, approximately 96 percent of high-income countries have available insulin in the same facilities.


The percentage of increased risk of death in those with diabetes compared to those who don't have the disease.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported a third of Americans are overweight or obese. A third of Americans are overweight, while 69 percent are overweight or obese.

Before You Go

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