News / Health

Diabetes Battle 'Being Lost' as Cases Hit Record 382 Million

Annabelle Sedano onstage at JDRF's Los Angeles Walk to Cure Diabetes at the Rose Bowl,  in Pasadena, California, Oct. 27, 2013.
Annabelle Sedano onstage at JDRF's Los Angeles Walk to Cure Diabetes at the Rose Bowl, in Pasadena, California, Oct. 27, 2013.
Reuters
The world is losing the battle against diabetes as the number of people estimated to be living with the disease soars to a record high of 382 million this year, medical experts said on Thursday.

The vast majority have Type 2 diabetes - the kind linked to obesity and lack of exercise — and the epidemic is spreading as more people in the developing world adopt Western, urban lifestyles.

The latest estimate from the International Diabetes Federation is equivalent to a global prevalence rate of 8.4 percent of the adult population and compares to 371 million cases in 2012.

By 2035, the organization predicts the number of cases will have soared by 55 percent to 592 million.

“The battle to protect people from diabetes and its disabling, life-threatening complications is being lost,” the federation said in the sixth edition of its Diabetes Atlas, noting that deaths from the disease were now running at 5.1 million a year or one every six seconds.

People with diabetes have inadequate blood sugar control, which can lead to a range of dangerous complications, including damage to the eyes, kidneys and heart. If left untreated, it can result in premature death.

“Year after year, the figures seem to be getting worse,” said David Whiting, an epidemiologist and public health specialist at the federation. “All around the world we are seeing increasing numbers of people developing diabetes.”

He said that a strategy involving all parts of society was needed to improve diets and promote healthier lifestyles.

The federation calculates diabetes already accounts for annual healthcare spending of $548 billion and this is likely to rise to $627 billion by 2035.

Worryingly, an estimated 175 million of diabetes cases are as yet undiagnosed, so a huge number of people are progressing towards complications unawares. Most of them live in low- and middle-income countries with far less access to medical care than in the United States and Europe.

The country with the most diabetics overall is China, where the case load is expected to rise to 142.7 million in 2035 from 98.4 million at present.

But the highest prevalence rates are to be found in the Western Pacific, where more than a third of adults in Tokelau, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands already are living with the disease.

Pharmaceutical companies have developed a range of medicines over the years to counter diabetes, but many patients still adequately struggle to control their condition, leading to a continuing hunt for improved treatments.

Novo Nordisk, Sanofi and Eli Lilly all are major suppliers of insulin and other diabetes therapies.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid