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Those living with diabetes continue to rise

Evidence suggests that Type 2 diabetes can often be prevented, while early diagnosis and access to appropriate care for all types of diabetes can avoid or delay complications.

During World Diabetes Day, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) released new figures that highlight the alarming growth in the prevalence of diabetes around the world. Thirty-eight million more adults are now estimated to be living with diabetes compared to the results published in 2017. New findings in the 9th edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas show that there are now 463 million adults with diabetes worldwide.

The latest Atlas reports that the global prevalence of diabetes has reached 9.3 percent, with more than half (50.1 percent) of adults undiagnosed. Type 2 diabetes accounts for around 90 percent of all people with diabetes.

The rise in the number of people with Type 2 diabetes is driven by a complex interplay of socio-economic, demographic, environmental and genetic factors. Key contributors include urbanisation, an ageing population, decreasing levels of physical activity and increasing levels of overweight and obesity. For reasons which are unknown, Type 1 diabetes is also on the rise.

“Diabetes is a serious global health issue that has a huge socio-economic impact that cannot be ignored,” said IDF President, Professor Nam H Cho. “The rising prevalence of diabetes is a real cause for concern, especially when we consider the high number of people who remain undiagnosed. We must do more to prevent Type 2 diabetes, diagnose all forms of diabetes early and prevent complications.”

Diabetes has an impact on all age groups, regardless of geography and income. Three in every four people with diabetes (352 million) are of working age (20 to 64 years), while one in five people over 65 has diabetes. When their diabetes is undetected or they are inadequately supported, people with diabetes are at risk of serious and life-threatening complications, such as heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and lower-limb amputation. These result in reduced quality of life and higher healthcare costs, and place undue stress on families.

Evidence suggests that Type 2 diabetes can often be prevented, while early diagnosis and access to appropriate care for all types of diabetes can avoid or delay complications in people living with the condition.

Other key findings from the IDF Diabetes Atlas 9th Edition include:

  • The total number of people with diabetes is predicted to rise to 578 million by 2030 and to 700 million by 2045.
  • 374 million adults have impaired glucose tolerance, placing them at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
  • Diabetes was responsible for an estimated US$760 billion in health expenditure in 2019.
  • Diabetes is among the top 10 causes of death, with almost half of deaths occurring in people under the age of 60 years.

 


 

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