Undiagnosed Cases and the ‘Real’ Health Burden of Diabetes in Latin America and the Caribbean

Flavia Andrade, University of Wisconsin at Madison

This paper proposes an innovative approach to estimate diabetes prevalence rates in Latin America and the Caribbean. The results indicate that diabetes prevalence estimated by self-reports is underestimated for most part. For example, the self-reported diabetes prevalence in Buenos Aires is 12.4%, while the predicted prevalence can reach 30.2%. As a consequence, the average number of years expected to be lived with diabetes are considerably higher than one would expect using self-reported measures. Finally, this paper shows that estimates of total life expectancy and disability-free life expectancy of diabetics in Mexico based on self-reports may be biased downwards. In any case, it is important to understand that diabetes reduces total life expectancy and the bulk of this reduction comes in the form of reductions in the number of years expected to be lived without disability. The new estimate show that total life expectancy of diabetics at age 50 is about 4 years lower than among non-diabetics.

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Presented in Poster Session 1