Background: Diabetes prevalence is increasing in most places in the world, but prevalence is affected by both risk of developing diabetes and survival of those with diabetes. Diabetes incidence is a better metric to understand the trends in population risk of diabetes. Using a multicountry analysis, we aimed to ascertain whether the incidence of clinically diagnosed diabetes has changed over time.
Methods: In this multicountry data analysis, we assembled aggregated data describing trends in diagnosed total or type 2 diabetes incidence from 24 population-based data sources in 21 countries or jurisdictions. Data were from administrative sources, health insurance records, registries, and a health survey. We modelled incidence rates with Poisson regression, using age and calendar time (1995-2018) as variables, describing the effects with restricted cubic splines with six knots for age and calendar time.
Findings: Our data included about 22 million diabetes diagnoses from 5 billion person-years of follow-up. Data were from 19 high-income and two middle-income countries or jurisdictions. 23 data sources had data from 2010 onwards, among which 19 had a downward or stable trend, with an annual estimated change in incidence ranging from -1·1% to -10·8%. Among the four data sources with an increasing trend from 2010 onwards, the annual estimated change ranged from 0·9% to 5·6%. The findings were robust to sensitivity analyses excluding data sources in which the data quality was lower and were consistent in analyses stratified by different diabetes definitions.
Interpretation: The incidence of diagnosed diabetes is stabilising or declining in many high-income countries. The reasons for the declines in the incidence of diagnosed diabetes warrant further investigation with appropriate data sources.
Funding: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Diabetes Australia Research Program, and Victoria State Government Operational Infrastructure Support Program.
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