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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid