Epidemiology of Type 1 Diabetes

Curr Cardiol Rep. 2022 Oct;24(10):1455-1465. doi: 10.1007/s11886-022-01762-w. Epub 2022 Aug 17.


Purpose of review: Epidemiological research on type 1 diabetes (T1D) has traditionally focussed on the paediatric age group, but recent data in adults has confirmed it to be a disease of all ages with a wide clinical spectrum. We review the epidemiology and clinical features of T1D across the lifespan.

Recent findings: While the peak incidence of T1D is still in early adolescence, T1D is now diagnosed more commonly in adulthood than childhood due to increasing recognition of adult-onset T1D and the length of the adult lifespan. It still follows the known geographic variations in incidence, being highest in Northern Europe and lowest in Asia. The onset of T1D in adulthood is usually less acute than in childhood and confers a lower, although still substantial, risk of complications and early mortality. Interventions to delay T1D onset are emerging and screening for those at risk at birth is increasingly available. Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age and may not present with ketosis or an immediate insulin requirement in adults. Macro- and microvascular complications are the greatest cause of excess morbidity and mortality in this population.

Keywords: Adult-onset; Childhood-onset; Complications; Incidence; Prevalence.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / complications
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Insulin / therapeutic use


  • Insulin