Study Projects Dramatic Surge in Global Diabetes Cases by 2050

Prolonged high blood sugar levels can lead to health risks.

Increasing Prevalence of Diabetes Worldwide: Study

The global population living with diabetes is expected to surpass 1.3 billion in the next 30 years, more than doubling the current number of half a billion, according to a new analysis published in The Lancet. The study reveals that every country is projected to experience an increase in diabetes cases, making it a major challenge for health systems worldwide. Prolonged high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes also raise the risk of ischemic heart disease and stroke, making the situation even more alarming. Liane Ong, the lead author and Research Scientist at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine, expressed concern over the rapid growth of diabetes.

The researchers found that 96% of global diabetes cases are type 2 diabetes (T2D). Using the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2021 study, they examined the prevalence, morbidity, and mortality of diabetes across 204 countries and territories. The analysis showed that the current global prevalence rate of diabetes is 6.1%, making it one of the top 10 leading causes of death and disability. This comprehensive study also forecasts the future prevalence rate, indicating an expected rise to 9.3% in North Africa and the Middle East and 11.3% in Latin America and the Caribbean by 2050.

The study also uncovered that diabetes prevalence is particularly high among individuals aged 65 and older in every country. This age group has a global prevalence rate of over 20%. Regionally, North Africa and the Middle East have the highest rate at 39.4%, while Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia have the lowest rate at 19.8%. The researchers identified 16 risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes, with high body mass index (BMI) being the primary risk factor, accounting for 52.2% of disability and mortality related to T2D.

In addition to high BMI, other important risk factors for T2D include dietary risks, environmental/occupational risks, tobacco use, low physical activity, and alcohol use. The prevention and control of diabetes is not solely dependent on factors like obesity, exercise, and diet. Liane Ong emphasized that the complexity of preventing and managing diabetes is influenced by a range of factors, including genetics, social barriers, financial constraints, and healthcare access, especially in low- and middle-income countries.

The researchers emphasized the need for a comprehensive understanding of diabetes and its impact on populations at a granular level. They believe that addressing the inequities and disparities worldwide is crucial in improving diabetes prevention, screening, and treatment. Lauryn Stafford, the second author and Post-Bachelor Fellow at IHME, stressed the importance of considering the conditions in which people are born and live when addressing the risk factors for diabetes. The study ultimately highlights the urgent need for a holistic approach to combatting diabetes.

Disclaimer: This story is based on a syndicated news agency feed and has not been edited by News18 staff.

 

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