The number of people with diabetes in any particular country will reflect the population size of that country rather than the relative size of the problem. Prevalence and incidence rates measure the number of diabetes cases per size of the population and give a more specific impression of the significance of diabetes to that particular country.
According to International Diabetes Federation (IDF) 2017 data the top 3 countries in the world for diabetic subjects are China (114 million cases), India (73 million) and the USA (30 million). Other countries on this list Include Brazil (12 million), Mexico (12 million) and Indonesia (10 million).
These countries with very large populations will have to gear up their health services to deal with such a sizeable problem. It does not mean that the relative percentage of their population with diabetes is especially high, it is just that they have large numbers of people and because of that they have large numbers of people with diabetes. Other countries on this list to make up the top ten include Russia (13 million people with diabetes), Brazil (12 million), Japan (11 million), Mexico (10 million), Bangladesh (8 million), Egypt 7 million) and Indonesia (7 million).
Instead of looking at the total number of people with diabetes in any country, we can also look at the number of people with diabetes relative to the size of the population. If we do that then our attention focuses on the Middle East where for people aged between 20-79 years, the diabetes prevalence rate is consistently greater than 20 percent. Further analysis supports the concept that there is a genetic susceptibility inherent to certain populations but a rapid westernisation of the culture especially of nutrition is the trigger that expresses this susceptibility.