Urban diabetes in Rome

Rome is the biggest city in Italy and it is the fourth most populated city in the EU after Paris, London and Berlin with 4.3 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area.1
Like other cities, Rome is growing in size. The average population increase was 17.3% from 2001 to 2016.2 The diabetes prevalence in Rome is 8.3% and the obesity prevalence is 9.0%.3
With more than 40% of Romans seeing themselves as physically inactive2, the city needs to rethink diabetes in an urban setting by addressing the risk factors and the health care services for Romans at risk of getting diabetes and those already living with type 2 diabetes.

The first step of creating change is to understand the social factors and cultural determinants influencing diabetes in Rome. To that purpose, Cities Changing Diabetes Rome has three core elements – mapping the problem, sharing the learnings and taking action. The goal is to leverage resources and share key findings in Rome and across Italy to change the trajectory of the disease in cities through targeted actions informed by new insights.

  1. Statistiche demografiche Roma 2016. Accessed June, 2017.
  2. Italian Institute for Statistics (ISTAT). Primo Rapporto statistico sull’area metropolitana romana. 2016.
  3. Cities Changing Diabetes. Diabetes Projection Model, Global. Data on file. Novo Nordisk. In: Incentive, ed. Holte, Denmark 2017



The quantitative research (RoH) will be presented during the 2nd Health City Forum on 3 July 2017.

The qualitative research is performed by a broad consortium of Institutions among which we mention the National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), the Institute for Social Studies (Censis Foundation), Coresearch, Institute for the Competiveness, University of Roma Sapienza and the University of Roma Tor Vergata.  

The Rule of Halves for Rome will be based on existing published research, databases and registers.

Individual viewpoints on vulnerability to type 2 diabetes in Rome will be collected in 2017.


Vice President ANCI and Confederation Towns and Municipalities EU

"Urbanisation and its links with the surrounding territory provide, on one hand, many risks for public and individual health, and, on the other hand, opportunities that have to be consciously and wisely exploited by an Administration. The Cities Changing Diabetes initiative provides an excellent frame to perform an analysis of social determinants, and economic and environmental risk factors that impact on health."


A growing number of partners are working together to address urban diabetes in Rome: Health City Institute, Italian Health Institute (ISS), National Association of Municipalities (ANCI), Federsanità ANCI, Italian Barometer Diabetes Observatory (IBDO) Foundation, University of Roma Sapienza, University of Roma Tor Vergata, National Olympic Committee (CONI), Danish Embassy, Social Studies Center (CENSIS), National Institute of Statistics  (ISTAT), Institute for the Competitiveness  (I-Com), Center for Outcomes and Research and Clinical Epidemiology (Coresearch)