Diabetes & Kidney Disease Statistics

Diabetes could cost you your Kidneys. Did you know that...

1. There are currently over 240 million people with diabetes worldwide.

This figure is projected to rise to 380 million by 2025, largely due to population growth, ageing, urbanisation, unhealthy eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle.

2. By 2025, the number of people with diabetes is expected to:

  • more than double in Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, and South-East Asia
  • rise by nearly 20% in Europe, 50% in North America, 85% in South and Central America and 75% in the Western Pacific region.

3. There are two basic forms of diabetes:

  • type 1 diabetes most frequently affects children and adolescents and accounts for approximately 5 to 10% of all diabetes.
  • type 2 is by far the most common form of diabetes and occurs primarily in adults, although it is now affecting children and young adults to a greater extent. It accounts for approximately 90 to 95% of all diabetes.

4. In 2003, the countries with most people with diabetes are:

  • India (40.8 million), China (39.8 million), the United States (21 million), Russia (9.7 million) and Japan (6.7 million)
  • Nauru (30.2%), United Arab Emirates (20.1%), Kuwait (12.8%) and Tonga (12.4%) are the countries with the highest diabetes prevalence in the adult population.

5. At least 50% of all people with diabetes are unaware of their condition.

  • in some countries this figure may rise to 80%.

6. Everybody is at risk of getting diabetes.

  • family history, age, excess weight, lack of exercise and bad dietary habits all contribute to the onset of diabetes.
  • being overweight considerably increases the risk of developing diabetes (80% of people with type 2 diabetes are either overweight or obese).

7. If left untreated, diabetes can cause serious long-term complications:

  • kidney disease: diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure in the developed world and accounts for approximately 35% to 40% of new cases each year.
  • eye disease: Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness and visual impairment in adults in developed countries. The incidence of blindness is 25 times higher in people with diabetes than in the general population.
  • nerve disease: Nerve damage combined with peripheral vascular disease make diabetes the most common cause of amputation, that is not the result of an accident. People with diabetes are 15 to 40 times more likely to require a lower-limb amputation compared to the general population.
  • cardiovascular disease : People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than people without diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes have the same risk of heart attack as people without diabetes who have already had a heart attack. The risk of mortality for cardiovascular disease is 40 times greater than in people without diabetes.

8. The early stages of kidney disease (Nephropathy) are common.

  • over a lifetime about 50% of people with type 1 diabetes develop microalbuminuria.

9. Approximately 20% of people with type 1 diabetes develop kidney failure.

  • in Caucasian people with type 2 diabetes, 5-10 % reach end-stage kidney disease (ESRD), whilst in non-Caucasians the proportion is higher.
  • diabetic kidney disease is the single commonest cause of entry to renal replacement programmes (dialysis or transplantation) in most countries in the world.
  • in Germany and the USA, over 40% of people with end stage renal disease have diabetes. The number of ESRD patients worldwide requiring dialysis was estimated to be 1,000,000 in 2000, 260,000 of whom reside in the U.S. This population is estimated to be growing at an annual rate of 8%.

10. Up to 40% of new cases of ESRD are attributed to diabetes.

  • the risk of ESRD is 12 times as high in people with type 1 diabetes compared to type 2 diabetes.

11. There are two treatment options when kidneys fail:

  • dialysis (hemodialysis and peritoneal) and transplantation.
  • in the United States, nearly 300,000 people are on chronic dialysis and more than 20,000 have a functioning transplanted kidney.

12. The costs of dialysis or transplantation are high.

  • dialysis costs around US$ 35.000 per person per year.
  • kidney transplant costs around US$ 15.000 for the first year, and 6.000 per year thereafter.
  • the devastating complications of diabetes are imposing a huge burden on health care services. It is estimated that diabetes accounts for between 5%- 10% of the nation’s health budget.

13. Kidney failure from diabetes happens so slowly that you may not feel sick at all for many years.

  • you will know you have kidney problems only if your doctor tests your urine for protein. Each year, make sure that your doctor tests your urine to see if your kidneys are leaking albumin.

14. Tight blood sugar control reduces the risk of microalbuminuria by one-third.

  • there is conclusive evidence that good control of blood glucose levels can substantially reduce the risk of developing complications and slow their progression in all types of diabetes.
  • the management of high blood pressure and raised blood lipids (fats) is equally important.

15. An estimated 25% of the world’s nations:

  • have not made any specific provision for diabetes care in national health plans although the human and economic costs of diabetes could be significantly reduced by investing in prevention, particularly early detection to avoid the onset of diabetes complications.



  • IDF FACTS and FIGURES - (World Diabetes Day, 2003)
  • Diabetes Atlas 2000, International Diabetes Federation (IDF), 2000.
  • Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease: Time to Act, IDF 2001 http://www.who.int/ncd/dia
  • Awareness, Intervention and Education – Enhancing the lives of people with diabetes, IDF 2001
  • Keep your Kidneys Healthy, National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, www.niddk.nih.gov
  • International Survey of People with Diabetes – Attitudes and Concerns, IDF – European Region and Lions Club International Foundation
  • Foster A, World Distribution of Blindness, J. Community Eye Health 1988; 1: 2-3