The number of adults with diabetes worldwide has quadrupled since 1980, with a majority of the disease burden in low and middle income countries.
As this chart depicts, many of the biggest increases in diabetes prevalence occurred in developing regions: the Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia. In 2014, 422 million adults lived with diabetes, compared with 108 million in 1980, according to a recent global report from the World Health Organization. During this period, the disease also became more common among men than women.
The report includes data from 751 studies totaling 4.4 million adults in different world regions. It estimates age-adjusted diabetes prevalence for 200 countries — which means the researchers adjusted the results to account for diabetes becoming more common as a person ages.
Since about 90 percent of cases of adult diabetes are type 2, this observed rise is probably due to increases in type 2 diabetes, the researchers concluded.
“An aging population, and rising levels of obesity, mean that the number of people with diabetes has increased dramatically over the past 35 years,” said Majid Ezzati, senior author from Imperial College London. “Rates of diabetes are rising quickly in China, India, and many other low and middle income countries, and if current trends continue, the probability of meeting the 2025 UN global target is virtually non-existent.”
Filed Under: Drug Discovery