News / Health

Study Shows Diabetes Surging Worldwide

A new study shows that one in 10 adults, in countries throughout the world, suffers from diabetes
A new study shows that one in 10 adults, in countries throughout the world, suffers from diabetes

Multimedia

Carol Pearson

The number of adults worldwide with diabetes has more than doubled in the past three decades - jumping to nearly 350 million.  And it continues to surge, according to a new study in the journal Lancet.  Researchers say much of this dramatic increase - in Pacific island countries, North America and some of the Gulf states - is due to aging populations and rapid population growth.  But part of it has also been driven by rising obesity rates, especially among young people.  

It's documented: diabetes is a global problem.  A new study shows that one in 10 adults, in countries throughout the world, suffers from diabetes.  

"What our study shows is that it is not any more [no longer] a disease of the affluent countries," said Goodarz Danaei, a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health and one of the study's authors.

Researchers collected data on blood sugar levels from nearly three million people in 200 countries over a 30-year period.  Most of the participants had Type-2 diabetes, a disease linked to aging, obesity and inactivity.

People with diabetes cannot control their blood sugar levels.  This can lead to heart disease and stroke, disability and early death.

Even in countries where diabetes is not rampant, populations have increased and so, too, has the number of diabetics.

"Even if only two percent or one percent of the population is diabetic, but you have more than a billion people in your country, the sheer number of diabetes patients will drive the costs and resources that the health systems have to put into disease control and management," Dr. Danaei said.

Diabetes is one of the most expensive diseases to treat because it requires long term care - not just to regulate blood sugar levels, but to deal with its serious medical complications. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 70 percent of people with diabetes live in low and middle income countries.  Many people in these countries cannot afford to buy the medications they need to control their diabetes and neither can countries with already slim public health budgets.

"They have to find cost-effective ways to either prevent the disease or diagnose the disease at an earlier stage or treat the complication of diabetes in a much more effective manner," said Dr. Danaei.

This study confirms what doctors are already seeing in their clinics, doctors like Betul Hatipolu at the Cleveland Clinic.

"It is not a surprise for us," she said.  "When we practice every day, we see so many new cases, I'm not surprised at all."

The authors say countries need to aggressively promote healthy lifestyles. That's also what doctors who treat this disease are saying.

"I would just love to tell everybody that they have to exercise and they have to eat healthier, otherwise everyone is at risk to develop diabetes," Dr. Hatipolu said.

The study's authors say diabetes is likely to be one of the defining features of global health needs unless public health campaigns to prevent it are successful.

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