February 28, 2024

The world will see an ‘alarming’ increase in diabetes by 2050: study

Most cases are type 2 diabetes, the form of the disease associated with obesity.

LONDON (Reuters) – A new global study suggests that every country in the world will see an increase in diabetes rates over the next 30 years if no action is taken.

There are currently 529 million people in the world living with diabetes, according to the study, which was led by researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. Researchers predict that this number will double to about 1.3 billion people by 2050.

Most of the cases are type 2 diabetes, the obesity-related and largely preventable form of the disease, the researchers said.

The increase in the global prevalence rate is not uniform: some countries and regions are hardest hit. For example, prevalence rates are projected to reach 16.8% in North Africa and the Middle East and 11.3% in Latin America and the Caribbean by 2050, compared to about 9.8% globally. Currently, the prevalence is 6.1%. But the researchers said all countries would be affected.

“The rapid growth rate of diabetes is not only worrisome, but also a challenge for all health systems in the world,” said Lien Ong, lead author of the paper, noting that the condition is linked to many other cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease. and spills.

Follow up on recommendations

The study showed that the rising number of people with diabetes was partly due to increasing obesity and partly by changing demographics: prevalence is higher among the elderly. The researchers said that the data from 204 countries did not take into account the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, as these numbers were not yet available.

The study, which was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is part of a larger series on diabetes published Thursday in the medical journal The Lancet. The series calls for more effective mitigation strategies that are aware of the inequality the majority of people with diabetes live in low- and middle-income countries and lack access to adequate treatment.