Disease burden

Disease burden is the severity and impact of a disease (1) which is measured by mortality, morbidity, clinical conditions,  quality of life, disability, years of life lost, and monetary cost  (2). In 2015 monetary cost of diabetes was estimated to be US$1.31 trillion which equals 1.8% cost of the global GDP (Gross Domestic Product) (3). Boomer and colleagues (2017), WHO (2016), Amon & Aikins (2017) classified costs differently. Considering all of the cost classification, author has created a combined classification of costs associated with diabetes (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Cost of diabetes (Source: Author’s construct)

Financial cost is one dimension of disease burden. Disease complication is another dimension of disease burden which requires attention. Diabetes complications include the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, retinopathy, end-stage renal disease (4),  and others (5-8).

However, considering the above discussion, it is evident, diabetes is associated with huge disease burden which has negative impact on the attainment of sustainable development goals (SDGs) (Figure 2). Sustainable development is the way of satisfying existing need without destroying the ability of the future generations to satisfy their own needs (9).

Figure 2: Sustainable Development Goals (Source: United Nations. The Sustainable Development Agenda 2016 .Available from: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/development-agenda/.)

Achieving sustainable development requires good health and well-being. Due to its immense disease burden and negative impact on health and well-being, diabetes is given priority by the world leaders as a part of achieving SDGs (4, 10).

Psychosocial Impact of Diabetes

Psychosocial impact is defined as the effect caused by environmental and/or biological factors on individual’s social and/or psychological aspects (11). Several studies found, diabetes has negative impact on a patient’s psychological aspects like mental health, quality of life, and social life (12, 13). Based on the literature review, author constructed a summarized figure of psychosocial impact of diabetes in Figure 3.

Figure 3: Psychosocial impact of diabetes (Source: Author’s construct)

To conclude this chapter, it is evident; diabetes is on the rise and present everywhere. The complication and associated disease burden of diabetes is huge. At this point question comes, what are the determining factors of the diabetes development. Next blog will answer this question.

Next …

Next blog will discuss on the determining factors of diabetes.


1.         Gidron Y. Disease Burden. In: Gellman MD, Turner JR, editors. Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine. New York, NY: Springer New York; 2013. p. 602-3.

2.         Prüss-Üstün AC, Carlos Preventing disease through healthy environments: Towards an estimate of the environmental burden of disease. World Health Organization; 2006.

3.         Bommer C, Heesemann E, Sagalova V, Manne-Goehler J, Atun R, Bärnighausen T, et al. The global economic burden of diabetes in adults aged 20–79 years: a cost-of-illness study. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. 2017;5(6):423-30.

4.         World Health Organization. Global report on diabetes. World Health Organization; 2016.

5.         Pinhas-Hamiel O, Zeitler P. Acute and chronic complications of type 2 diabetes mellitus in children and adolescents. The Lancet. 2007;369(9575):1823-31.

6.         Gregg EW, Li Y, Wang J, Rios Burrows N, Ali MK, Rolka D, et al. Changes in Diabetes-Related Complications in the United States, 1990–2010. New England Journal of Medicine. 2014;370(16):1514-23.

7.         Islam SMS, Alam DS, Wahiduzzaman M, Niessen LW, Froeschl G, Ferrari U, et al. Clinical characteristics and complications of patients with type 2 diabetes attending an urban hospital in Bangladesh. Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews. 2014;9(1):7-13.

8.         International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas 8th Edition. International Diabetes Federation; 2017.

9.         United Nations. The Sustainable Development Agenda 2016 [Available from: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/development-agenda/.

10.       United Nations. Progress of Goal 3 in 2017 2017 [Available from: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg3.

11.       de Oliveira AM, Buchain PC, Vizzotto ADB, Elkis H, Cordeiro Q. Psychosocial Impact. In: Gellman MD, Turner JR, editors. Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine. New York, NY: Springer New York; 2013. p. 1583-4.

12.       Ashraff S, Siddiqui MA, Carline TE. The Psychosocial Impact of Diabetes in Adolescents: A Review. Oman Medical Journal. 2013;28(3):159-62.

13.       Feng X, Astell-Burt T. Impact of a type 2 diabetes diagnosis on mental health, quality of life, and social contacts: a longitudinal study. BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care. 2017;5(1).