Update of mortality attributable to diabetes for the IDF Diabetes Atlas: Estimates for the year 2013

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2015 Sep;109(3):461-5. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2015.05.037. Epub 2015 May 22.


Background: Mortality is an important measure of population health and is often used to assign priorities in health interventions. Estimating mortality due to diabetes has been challenging because more than a third of countries of the world have no reliable data available on mortality. Moreover estimating mortality attributable to Diabetes is especially challenging since most people die of a related vascular complication such as cardiovascular disease or renal failure.

Aims: The aim of the study was to provide estimate of the number of deaths attributable to diabetes for the year 2013.

Methods: A computerized disease model was used to obtain the estimates. Using WHO life tables for 2010 and IDF diabetes prevalence estimates for 2013, age and sex-specific relative risks of death for persons with diabetes were calculated, in order to estimate the number of deaths attributable to diabetes in people 20-79 years of age.

Results: This model estimated that globally, 8.4% of all-cause deaths were attributable to diabetes in adults aged 20-79 years, almost 5.1 million deaths. A sensitivity analysis adjusting relative risks by 20% found that the estimate of diabetes-attributable mortality to lie between 5.1% of total mortality (3.3 million deaths) and 10.1% of total mortality (6.6 million deaths). The highest rates of diabetes-attributable mortality were found to be 25.7% in South-East Asian women aged between 50 and 59 years old. The highest number of deaths attributable to diabetes was found in countries with large populations: 1271,000 in China, 1065,000 deaths in India, 386,400 in Indonesia, 197,300 in the Russian Federation and 192,700 in the United States of America.

Conclusions: Overall, 1 in 12 of global all-cause deaths were estimated to be attributable to diabetes in adults. In general, the number and proportion of deaths was slightly higher in women than in men.

Keywords: Diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Atlases as Topic
  • Cause of Death*
  • Demography
  • Diabetes Mellitus / mortality*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indonesia / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Young Adult