According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) one in ten of the world's population will have diabetes by 2035. The latest edition IDF Diabetes Atlas estimates that the number of people living with diabetes will increase from 382 million to 592 million people by the year 2035, many in low and middle income countries and the majority under the age of 60. This surge will be the backdrop of the upcoming World Diabetes Congress to be held in December in Australia.
Diabetes prevalence has seen an alarming increase in some Pacific Island nations such as the Pacific Island of Tokelau, where one in three adults is diagnosed with the condition. This provides a microcosm of how diabetes could develop in more populous nations over the next decades. Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to register a doubling in the number of people with diabetes by 2035, making it the most significant increase of any region in the world.
Last year’s IDF Diabetes Atlas pulished put the number of people with diabetes at 371 million and number of deaths for 2012 at 4.8 million. The new figures show that the upward trend will continue and by the end of 2013, 5.1 million people will have died from diabetes related complications. With roughly 175 million undiagnosed cases a number of people are unsuspectedly progressing towards complications.
Due to their large population, China with 98 million, India with 65 million and the USA with 24 million have the highest numbers of people with diabetes. The Western Pacific region, which includes countries such as Australia, China and Japan, has 138 million people with diabetes, the highest in the world.
Speaking at the International Diabetes Leadership Forum in Istanbul, Turkey, Sir Michael Hirst, President of IDF stated that the misconception about diabetes being ‘a disease of the wealthy' still prevails to the detriment of desperately needed funding to combat the pandemic, further explaining that diabetes is a disease of development. Awareness of the importance of a healthy diet and physical activity had to be emphasized and the corresponding environmental foundations for healthy living laid.
Other findings from the 6th edition Diabetes Atlas include:
- 548 billion USD were spent on diabetes in 2013
- North America is the biggest diabetes spender
- About 50% of South East Asia's population are undiagnosed with diabetes
- The Western Pacific has the highest number of diabetics globally
- 75% of diabetes deaths in Africa are in under 6 year old children
- The Middle East and North Africa regions register 10% of diabetics
- Within one generation, South and Central America will see a 60% increase in the number of people with diabetes
By releasing these figures the IDF urgently underlines their commitment to see diabetes and other Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) included in an all-encompassign health target in the post-2015 development framework as they aim to ensure a whole-of-society inclusive approach to prevention, are, treatment and support for diabetes and NCDs.