A Reuters report recently reported that nearly 21 million Americans are diabetics, mostly of the type II DM variety. This led me to think and ask how many Filipinos are diabetics. I researched about this, and most of the materials I found discussed the prevalence of diabetes in Filipino immigrants in the US.
An August 1996 article from the Annals of Internal Medicine done by Dr J Carter and colleagues reviewed the prevalence of Type II diabetes among minorities in the US. The figure below shows that Filipino minorities have a 10 percent prevalence rate of type II DM, ranking third behind the Koreans and the Mexicans.
A 2001 report by Cuasay and colleagues published in Diabetes Care showed a 16.1 percent prevalence rate of type II DM among Filipino-Americans in the Houston, Texas metropolitan statistical area. The authors reported that the reported rate is higher than the 1998 US prevalence rate of 6.5 percent.
I tried to research on any statistics done locally and all I can come up was this excerpt from this 2003 column of Dr Philip Chua which says there were more than 300,000 Filipinos suffering from Diabetes, with a local incidence rate of 3.4 percent. The same article said that the mostly affected age bracket belonged to the 40-59 age range. I think these figures are too low and does not reflect the real picture.
I came across a Filipino online magazine which quoted more recent figures. According to this website, based on the 2004 US Census Bureau International Database, there are 1,807,270 afflicted with diabetes in the Philippines, from a total population of 86,241,697.
Using a little math, and assuming those figures are correct, diabetes has about a 2.09 percent prevalence rate as of last year. The same website mentions that if the trends do not change, the diabetic population in the Philippines will balloon to 15 million by 2010.