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Diabet Med. 2019 Oct;36(10):1217-1225. doi: 10.1111/dme.13902. Epub 2019 Feb 13.

Projected number of people with diagnosed Type 2 diabetes in Germany in 2040.

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Institute for Biometrics and Epidemiology, German Diabetes Center (DDZ), Leibniz Center for Diabetes Research at Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany.
Department of Epidemiology and Health Monitoring, Robert Koch Institute, Berlin, Germany.
Hiller Research Unit for Rheumatology, University Hospital Duesseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany.



To project the number of people with Type 2 diabetes in Germany between 2015 and 2040.


Based on data from 65 million insurees of the German statutory health insurance, we projected the age-specific prevalence of diabetes using mathematical relations between prevalence, incidence rate and mortality. We compared several scenarios regarding temporal trends in the incidence and mortality rate. The projected age-specific prevalence was applied to the projected age structure of the German population between 2015 and 2040 to calculate the number of people with Type 2 diabetes.


Application of current age-specific prevalence estimates to the projected age structure in 2040, although ignoring temporal trends in incidence and mortality, yielded an increase in the number of Type 2 diabetes cases from 6.9 million in 2015 to 8.3 million (+21%) in 2040. More realistic scenarios that account for decreasing mortality rates and different trends in the incidence rates project between 10.7 million (+54%) and 12.3 million (+77%) Type 2 diabetes cases in 2040.


For the first time, we projected the number of future Type 2 diabetes cases for the whole adult population in Germany. The results indicate a relative increase in the number of Type 2 diabetes cases of between 54% and 77% from 2015 to 2040. Temporal trends in the incidence rate are the main drivers of this increase. Simply applying current age-specific prevalence to the future age structure probably underestimates the future number of Type 2 diabetes cases.


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