Diabetes – A Widespread Disease

Diabetes mellitus is one of the most widespread diseases in Germany. Approximately six million people have the disease, and it is estimated that just as many are unaware of their condition or are at high risk for developing the disease.

According to United Nations estimates, by the year 2040 the number of people worldwide with diabetes will increase by more than 50 percent – from 415 million today to approximately 642 million people. Diabetes is the first noninfectious disease that the United Nations has declared to be a global threat. Analog to the increase in cases worldwide, the incidence of diabetes mellitus in Germany has risen sharply over the last 50 years. According to current prognoses, the incidence will continue to rise even more rapidly in the future.

The strong increase in incidence not only of type 2 diabetes in the aging population, but also of type 1 diabetes will present major challenges to the German health system in the coming years.

The German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) seeks to investigate the causes of the disease and, through new scientific findings, to develop effective prevention and treatment measures to halt the emergence or progression of diabetes.