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Interpreting global trends in type 2 diabetes complications and mortality – published online 27/11/2021

Ali graphical abstract

Mohammed K. Ali, Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard, Elizabeth Selvin, Edward W. Gregg

Trends in diabetes complications and mortality rates convey the health impacts of diabetes and serve as a barometer of whether clinical practice, intervention programmes and policies are achieving their intended goals. In this issue, Ali et al ( review recent published data to characterise patterns in type 2 diabetes complications and mortality in adults since 2015, noting stark disparities between different populations. For example, while the burden of diabetes in high-income countries is declining, complications and mortality rates are increasing in low- and middle-income countries. Ali and colleagues discuss how data sources and definitions may be influencing rates and trends observed, and recommend four critical areas of investment to harmonise and bridge the data divide: (1) increasing investments in data collection systems; (2) standardising case definitions and approaches to ascertainment; (3) strengthening analytical capacity; and (4) developing and implementing structured guidelines for reporting of data.

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