Background: Many countries of the Americas have a high prevalence of diabetes, but the disease burden related to diabetes in the Americas has been little investigated. We aim to describe current diabetes burden in the Americas and changes from 1990 to 2017.

Methods: We used estimates from the 2017 GBD Study for incidence, prevalence, deaths, disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and risk factors in American regions for those aged 25+.

Results: Age-standardized incidence increased 20.8% from 1990 to 2017. Crude prevalence increased 40%, reaching 11.7% (95%UI: 9.4% - 11.2%), the highest rates being in North America and Central Latin America. A total of 352,769 (95% UI 340,170-366,155) deaths due to diabetes occurred in 2017. Central Latin America and the Caribbean presented the highest disease burden. Age-standardized DALYs increased 18% overall, with marked variation across nations (Figure). Main risk factors were high BMI and dietary characteristics.

Conclusion: Burden of diabetes in the Americas is high, being disproportionately large in Central Latin America and the Caribbean. High BMI and inadequate nutrition appear to be the main culprits. Public policies aiming to decrease diabetes incidence by acting on these and other risk factors, and to provide effective and cost-efficient care for all people with diabetes are much needed.

Figure: Percentage change in the age-standardized rate of DALYs, 1990-2017.


E. Cousin: None. M.I. Schmidt: None. B.B. Duncan: None.


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Research Support Foundation of Rio Grande do Sul

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