In 2017, 4,4% of the population in Switzerland reported that they had diabetes or that they were taking medication for this. Since 2007, this percentage has risen slightly. This applies to both men and women. Among women, the level of education plays a decisive role; the share of women with diabetes decreases with an increasing level of educational attainment. The share of people with diabetes increases with age. Around a quarter of people with diabetes indicated that they inject themselves with insulin.

This indicator is part of the Monitoring System Addiction and NCD (MonAM) of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder. The rate of new diagnoses has risen in recent years both in Switzerland and worldwide. There are two main forms of diabetes: Type 2 is strongly related to lifestyle and associated with overweight. Diet and exercise measures can prevent this type and slow progression of the disease. In most cases it appears in the second half of life and was previously known as adult-onset diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that often appears in childhood or adolescence. As the population continues to age and the number of overweight persons rises, diabetes is set to gain in importance in Switzerland in the coming years.


This indicator was calculated on the basis of data from the Swiss Health Survey.

It shows the percentage of people aged 15 and above who indicated that they had high blood sugar levels and/or took medication for diabetes in the seven days prior to the interview.

It is based on the SHS's ‘DIABETE’ index, which concerns the two following questions (TDIAB08 and TMEK042):

  • “At present, is your blood sugar level normal or too high?“
  • “I will read you a list of medicines. Please tell me each time, how often you have taken the medicine in the past 7 days: Medicine for diabetes or insulin shot for diabetes. Interviewees could choose from the following answers: “Daily/several times/about once in the past 7 days/never”. The following answers were included in the index: “Daily/several times/about once in the past 7 days“.

To establish how diabetes is treated, an additional question TMEKO43a was evaluated: “In what form are you taking this diabetes medication?” Answer categories: “Oral tablets/insulin shot/other”

It is not possible to make a distinction between the different types of diabetes, as some of the persons interviewed did not know which type they had.

An explanation of socio-demographic variables can be found in the document: Dimension description


Further information

  • Fürst, T. et al. (2020). Diabetes mellitus. Burden of disease and treatment in Switzerland (Obsan report 10/2020). Neuchâtel: Swiss Health Observatory: Report (in German, summary in French).
  • Swiss Diabetes Society: Website (in German, French, and Italian)

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