Diabetes in Europe: an update

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2014 Feb;103(2):206-17. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2013.11.007. Epub 2013 Dec 1.


Diabetes is among the leading causes of death in the IDF Europe Region (EUR), continues to increase in prevalence with diabetic macro- and microvascular complications resulting in increased disability and enormous healthcare costs. In 2013, the number of people with diabetes is estimated to be 56 million in EUR with an overall estimated prevalence of 8.5%. However, estimates of diabetes prevalence in 2013 vary widely in the 56 diverse countries in EUR from 2.4% in Moldova to 14.9% in Turkey. Trends in diabetes prevalence also vary between countries with stable prevalence since 2002 for many countries but a doubling of diabetes prevalence in Turkey. For 2035, a further increase of nearly 10 million people with diabetes is projected for the EUR. Prevalence of type 1 has also increased over the past 20 years in EUR and there was estimated to be 129,350 cases in children aged 0-14 years in 2013. Registries provide valid information on incidence of type 1 diabetes with more complete data available for children than for adults. There are large differences in distribution of risk factors for diabetes at the population level in EUR. Modifiable risk factors such as obesity, physical inactivity, smoking behaviour (including secondhand smoking), environmental pollutants, psychosocial factors and socioeconomic deprivation could be tackled to reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes in Europe. In addition, diabetes management is a major challenge to health services in the European countries. Improved networking practices of health professionals and other stakeholders in combination with empowerment of people with diabetes and continuous quality monitoring need to be further developed in Europe.

Keywords: Diabetes; IDF Diabetes Atlas; IDF Europe Region; Prevalence; Risk factors.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult