People with diabetes do not produce enough insulin, a hormone required to transport glucose from the blood to skeletal muscles and fat tissue. The most common types of diabetes are type 1 and type 2. People with type 1 diabetes do not produce enough insulin as a result of the breakdown of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Type 2 diabetics have a relative insulin deficiency. The pancreas does produce insulin, but the body cannot process it optimally. Lifestyle factors such as obesity, poor nutrition and low physical activity levels are important risk factors for type 2 diabetes. This is hardly the case for type 1.
The data on diabetes are taken from Statistics Netherlands health interview survey. Respondents are asked: ‘Do you have diabetes?’. A parent or carer answers the question for children younger than 12 years. The percentage of persons with diabetes is the percentage who answered ‘yes’ to this question. To distinguish between type 1 and type 2 diabetics, respondents were also asked about their medication. People who used insulin and had started using this within 6 months of being diagnosed with diabetes were assumed to have type 1 diabetes. People who reported they have diabetes but who do not take insulin or who started taking it later than 6 months after the diagnosis are assumed to have type 2 diabetes. Children are not asked about medication. They are all assumed to be type 1 diabetics.
As the figures are based on a sample survey, they are subject to a margin of error. The StatLine tables report the standard errors.