The number of diabetes cases will rise to as much as twelve million across Germany in the next few years

The number of diabetes cases will rise to as much as twelve million across Germany in the next few years / Health News

Extreme increase in diabetes cases in Germany predicts

More and more people in this country are suffering from diabetes. According to recent projections, the number of people with type 2 diabetes in Germany will rise to as much as twelve million by the year 2040.

More and more people are suffering from diabetes

A few years ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) predicted that the number of adult diabetics worldwide in 2025 is expected to exceed 700 million. And recently, researchers from the UK published a study that found that by 2045, one out of every eight people will have type 2 diabetes. In Germany, too, the number of diabetic patients continues to rise. Scientists expect a huge increase in cases of illness in the coming years.

According to projections, the number of people with type 2 diabetes in Germany could rise to as much as twelve million by the year 2040. (Image: Printemps /

Projections of the future number of type 2 diabetes cases

Based on the data of around 65 million legally insured persons in Germany and the Federal Statistical Office, scientists from the German Diabetes Center (DDZ) together with their colleagues from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) published for the first time extensive projections of the future number of 2 diabetes cases in Germany for all ages.

According to data from 2015 to 2040 case developments, the latest trends in emerging cases, increasing life expectancy and decreasing mortality rates due to medical progress have been included.

This allowed the experts to calculate the case numbers more accurately than in previous projection studies.

"In previous forecasts either only certain age groups were taken into account or temporal developments regarding the mortality rate as well as newly occurring cases were not taken into account", explains Dr. med. Ralph Brinks, head of the study at the DDZ, in a statement.

The calculations were carried out within the framework of the National Diabetes Surveillance Organization funded by the Federal Ministry of Health and recently published in the journal "Diabetic Medicine".

Not only the aging of the population influences future case numbers

In the calculation, the simple projection of the age-specific disease incidence in 2015 into the probable age structure of the population in 2040 showed an increase in diabetes cases by 21 percent to 8.3 million.

According to the authors, it is not enough to consider the evolution of the age structure alone.

It also needs to be taken into account how the death rate (mortality rate) in people with and without type 2 diabetes and the incidence rate (incidence rate) change over time.

Therefore, to calculate the number of future cases of diabetes, the following three variables were related for the first time:

Prevalence: The incidence of disease states what percentage of people in Germany suffer from diabetes at any given time.

Incidence rate: the incidence rate indicates the number of newly occurring diabetes cases in Germany for a certain period of time; for example in one year.

Mortality rate: mortality for people with and without diabetes.

Diabetes-related excess mortality: Ratio of mortality rates in humans compared to people without diabetes.

Better treatment options

At present, the mortality rates of people with diabetes in Germany are still about twice as high as in people without diabetes.

Due to medical progress with better treatment options for diabetes and its sequelae, the scientists suspect that in the future fewer people with diabetes will die prematurely than was previously the case.

Such trends have also been observed in other countries.

Of decisive importance is the future development of new disease rates, which is also determined by the development of important diabetes risk factors, such as lack of exercise, malnutrition and obesity in the population.

Especially the number of elderly patients will increase

The researchers at the DDZ calculated a relative increase in type 2 diabetes cases by 54 percent (+3.8 million cases) to 77, including these three variables and increasing life expectancy with different assumptions for the development of new disease rates and diabetes-related excess mortality Percent (+5.4 million cases) from 2015-2040.

This means that by 2040, it is estimated that 10.7 to 12.3 million people will be affected by type 2 diabetes. The number of older people with type 2 diabetes is particularly strong.

"According to these calculations by the DDZ and RKI expert teams, practices and clinics have to adapt even more than previously to the treatment of older people with type 2 diabetes," said Prof. Michael Roden, director of the DDZ and director of the clinic for Endocrinology and Diabetology at the University Hospital Dusseldorf.

This forecast requires more expert training and the establishment of specialized centers.

According to the DDZ and RKI scientists, the future number of cases depends on how many people are actually going to develop diabetes in the next two decades.

This is a size that can be positively influenced by prevention and training measures. (Ad)