Skip to main content

Estimating diabetes prevalence in Turkey in 2025 with and without possible interventions to reduce obesity and smoking prevalence, using a modelling approach



The purpose of this study is to estimate the prevalence and the number of people with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) in 2025 in Turkey and to evaluate the impact of possible policy options on T2DM prevalence.


We developed a model to predict future prevalence of T2DM using trend data for adults aged 25–74 in Turkey from 1997 to 2025. The model integrates population, obesity and smoking trends to estimate the future T2DM prevalence using a Markov approach.


T2DM prevalence was 7.5 % (95 % CI: 6.0–9.0 %) in 1997 increasing to 16.2 % (95 % CI: 15.5–21.1 %) in 2010. The forecasted prevalence for 2025 was 31.5 % (28.6 % in men and 35.1 % in women). If obesity prevalence declines by 10 % and smoking decreases by 20 % in 10 years from 2010, a 10 % relative reduction in diabetes prevalence (1,655,213 individuals) could be achieved by 2025.


Diabetes burden is now a significant public health challenge, and our model predicts that its burden will increase significantly over the next two decades. Tackling obesity and other diabetes risk factors needs urgent action.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1


  • Abu-Rmeileh NM, Husseini A, Capewell S, O’Flaherty M (2013) Preventing type 2 diabetes among Palestinians: comparing five future policy scenarios. BMJ Open 3:e003558. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003558

    Article  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Akgun S, Rao C, Yardim N, Basara BB, Aydin O, Mollahaliloglu S et al (2007) Estimating mortality and causes of death in Turkey: methods, results and policy implications. Eur J Public Health 17:593–599. doi:10.1093/eurpub/ckm022

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Al Ali R, Mzayek F, Rastam S, Fouad MF, O’Flaherty M, Capewell S et al (2013) Forecasting future prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus in Syria. BMC Public Health 13:507. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-507

    Article  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Al-Quwaidhi AJ, Pearce MS, Sobngwi E, Critchley JA, O’Flaherty M (2014) Comparison of type 2 diabetes prevalence estimates in Saudi Arabia from a validated Markov model against the International Diabetes Federation and other modelling studies. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. doi:10.1016/j.diabres.2013.12.036

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Bagriacik NOH, Ilhan B, Tarakci T, Osar Z, Ozyazar M, Hatemi HH, Yildiz G (2009) Obesity profile in Turkey Int J. Diabetes Metab 17:5–8

    Google Scholar 

  • Barendregt JJ, Van Oortmarssen GJ, Vos T, Murray CJ (2003) A generic model for the assessment of disease epidemiology: the computational basis of DisMod II. Popul Health Metr 1:4

    Article  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Boyle JP, Thompson TJ, Gregg EW, Barker LE, Williamson DF (2010) Projection of the year 2050 burden of diabetes in the US adult population: dynamic modeling of incidence, mortality, and prediabetes prevalence. Popul Health Metr 8:29 1478-7954-8-29

    Article  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Briggs A, Sculpher M, Buxton M (1994) Uncertainty in the economic evaluation of health care technologies: the role of sensitivity analysis. Health Econ 3:95–104

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Brownell KD, Farley T, Willett WC, Popkin BM, Chaloupka FJ, Thompson JW et al (2009) The public health and economic benefits of taxing sugar-sweetened beverages. N Engl J Med 361:1599–1605. doi:10.1056/NEJMhpr0905723

    Article  CAS  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Ergor G, Soysal A, Sozmen K, Unal B, Ucku R, Kilic B et al (2012) Balcova heart study: rationale and methodology of the Turkish cohort. Int J Public Health 57:535–542. doi:10.1007/s00038-011-0309-x

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Finucane MM, Stevens GA, Cowan MJ, Danaei G, Lin JK, Paciorek CJ et al (2011) National, regional, and global trends in body-mass index since 1980: systematic analysis of health examination surveys and epidemiological studies with 960 country-years and 9.1 million participants. Lancet 377:557–567. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(10)62037-5

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Flegal KM, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Ogden CL (2012) Prevalence of obesity and trends in the distribution of body mass index among US adults, 1999–2010. JAMA 307:491–497. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.39

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Hu FB (2011) Globalization of diabetes: the role of diet, lifestyle, and genes. Diabetes Care 34:1249–1257. doi:10.2337/dc11-0442

    Article  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Kostova D, Andes L, Erguder T, Yurekli A, Keskinkilic B, Polat S et al (2014) Cigarette prices and smoking prevalence after a tobacco tax increase—Turkey, 2008 and 2012. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 63:457–461

    Google Scholar 

  • Loveman E, Frampton GK, Shepherd J, Picot J, Cooper K, Bryant J et al (2011) The clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of long-term weight management schemes for adults: a systematic review. Health Technol Assess 15:1–182. doi:10.3310/hta15020

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Luke A, Cooper RS (2013) Physical activity does not influence obesity risk: time to clarify the public health message. Int J Epidemiol 42:1831–1836. doi:10.1093/ije/dyt159

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Magliano DJ, Barr EL, Zimmet PZ, Cameron AJ, Dunstan DW, Colagiuri S et al (2008) Glucose indices, health behaviors, and incidence of diabetes in Australia: the Australian Diabetes. Obes Lifestyle Study Diabetes Care 31:267–272. doi:10.2337/dc07-0912

    Google Scholar 

  • Maziak W, Critchley J, Zaman S, Unwin N, Capewell S, Bennett K et al (2013) Mediterranean studies of cardiovascular disease and hyperglycemia: analytical modeling of population socio-economic transitions (MedCHAMPS)-rationale and methods. Int J Public Health 58:547–553. doi:10.1007/s00038-012-0423-4

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Mikus CR, Oberlin DJ, Libla JL, Taylor AM, Booth FW, Thyfault JP (2012) Lowering physical activity impairs glycemic control in healthy volunteers. Med Sci Sports Exerc 44:225–231. doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e31822ac0c0

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • MoH (2010) Obesity prevention and control program of Turkey (2010-2014). Ministry of Health of Turkey, Ankara

  • MoH (2011) Türkiye Diyabeti Önleme ve Kontrol Programı. Eylem Planı 2011–2014. Sağlık Bakanlığı, Ankara

  • Murray CJ, Vos T, Lozano R, Naghavi M, Flaxman AD, Michaud C et al (2012) Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) for 291 diseases and injuries in 21 regions, 1990–2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study. Lancet 380:2197–2223. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61689-4

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Narayan KM, Boyle JP, Geiss LS, Saaddine JB, Thompson TJ (2006) Impact of recent increase in incidence on future diabetes burden: US, 2005–2050. Diabetes Care 29:2114–2116. doi:10.2337/dc06-1136

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Satman I, Yilmaz T, Sengul A, Salman S, Salman F, Uygur S et al (2002) Population-based study of diabetes and risk characteristics in Turkey: results of the turkish diabetes epidemiology study (TURDEP). Diabetes Care 25:1551–1556

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Satman I, Omer B, Tutuncu Y, Kalaca S, Gedik S, Dinccag N et al (2013) Twelve-year trends in the prevalence and risk factors of diabetes and prediabetes in Turkish adults. Eur J Epidemiol 28:169–180. doi:10.1007/s10654-013-9771-5

    Article  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Schneider H, Dietrich ES, Venetz WP (2010) Trends and stabilization up to 2022 in overweight and obesity in Switzerland, comparison to France. UK, US and Aust Int J Environ Res Public Health 7:460–472. doi:10.3390/ijerph7020460

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shaw JE, Sicree RA, Zimmet PZ (2010) Global estimates of the prevalence of diabetes for 2010 and 2030. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 87:4–14 S0168-8227(09)00432-X

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Siegel M, Luengen M, Stock S (2013) On age-specific variations in income-related inequalities in diabetes, hypertension and obesity. Int J Public Health 58:33–41. doi:10.1007/s00038-012-0368-7

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Stevens GA, Singh GM, Lu Y, Danaei G, Lin JK, Finucane MM et al (2012) National, regional, and global trends in adult overweight and obesity prevalences. Popul Health Metr 10:22. doi:10.1186/1478-7954-10-22

    Article  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Suleymanlar G, Utas C, Arinsoy T, Ates K, Altun B, Altiparmak MR et al (2011) A population-based survey of chronic renal disease in Turkey—the CREDIT study. Nephrol Dial Transplant 26:1862–1871. doi:10.1093/ndt/gfq656

    Article  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Tatar M (2013) Management of diabetes and diabetes policies in Turkey. Global Health 9:16. doi:10.1186/1744-8603-9-16

    Article  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Teo K, Chow CK, Vaz M, Rangarajan S, Yusuf S, Group PI-W (2009) The prospective urban rural epidemiology (PURE) study: examining the impact of societal influences on chronic noncommunicable diseases in low-, middle-, and high-income countries. Am Heart J 158(1–7):e1. doi:10.1016/j.ahj.2009.04.019

    Google Scholar 

  • TUIK (2013) Population census. Accessed 14 Oct 2013

  • TURKSTAT (2013) Population projections. Accessed 14 Oct 2013

  • Unal B, Sozmen K, Ucku R, Ergor G, Soysal A, Baydur H et al (2012) High prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in a Western urban Turkish population: a community-based study. Anadolu Kardiyol Derg. doi:10.5152/akd.2013.002

    Google Scholar 

  • Unwin N, Whiting D, Gan D (2009) Diabetes Atlas, 4th edn. International Diabetes Federation, Brussels

    Google Scholar 

  • Whiting DR, Guariguata L, Weil C, Shaw J (2011) IDF diabetes atlas: global estimates of the prevalence of diabetes for 2011 and 2030. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 94:311–321 S0168-8227(11)00591-2

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • WHO (2011) Targets to monitor progress in reducing the burden of noncommunicable diseases, Recommendations from a WHO Technical Working Group on Noncommunicable Disease Targets World Health Organization. Accessed 14 Oct 2013

  • WHO (2013) Life expectancy: life tables Turkey. Accessed 14 Oct 2013

  • Wild S, Roglic G, Green A, Sicree R, King H (2004) Global prevalence of diabetes: estimates for the year 2000 and projections for 2030. Diabetes Care 27:1047–1053

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Yumuk VD (2005) Prevalence of obesity in Turkey. Obes Rev 6:9–10. doi:10.1111/j.1467-789X.2005.00172.x

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references


This work was completed as part of the MedCHAMPS ((Mediterranean Studies of Cardiovascular disease and Hyperglycaemia: Analytical Modelling of Population Socio-economic transition) Project (EC FP7 Grant number 223075).

Conflict of interest

We declare that we have no conflicts of interest.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kaan Sözmen.

Additional information

This article is part of the supplement “The rising burden of noncommunicable diseases in four Mediterranean countries and potential solutions”.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary material 1 (PDF 629 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Sözmen, K., Unal, B., Capewell, S. et al. Estimating diabetes prevalence in Turkey in 2025 with and without possible interventions to reduce obesity and smoking prevalence, using a modelling approach. Int J Public Health 60 (Suppl 1), 13–21 (2015).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: