Number of Patients Suffering From Diabetes Worldwide to Reach 1.5 Billion By 2050

Diabetes (Photo: PA)

New research released this week predicts a staggering increase in diabetes cases worldwide over the coming decades.

According to a study published in the Lancet, the number of people living with diabetes is projected to surpass one billion by 2050, doubling the current amount.

Diabetes is characterized by chronically increased blood sugar levels, typically due to insulin production issues or resistance to insulin’s effects.

Type 1 diabetes involves an immune system attack on insulin-producing cells, while type 2 diabetes develops insulin resistance and potential insulin deficiency over time.

While advancements in medications and blood sugar monitoring have improved outcomes, diabetes remains a serious condition linked to complications such as nerve damage, chronic kidney disease, and heightened risks of heart disease, stroke, and dementia if not properly managed.

The research, conducted by scientists from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington School of Medicine, utilized data from the Global Burden of Diseases study to make projections.

In 2021, approximately 529 million individuals globally had diabetes, equating to a prevalence of around 6.1%. By 2050, this number is expected to reach 1.31 billion people worldwide.

Diabetes Test (Photo: Pixabay)

The study highlights that North Africa and the Middle East are anticipated to face the highest age-standardized prevalence rates, reaching 16.8%.

Nearly half of the world’s countries and territories are expected to exceed a prevalence rate of 10%.

Lead author Liane Ong emphasized the urgency of the findings, noting the profound challenges this rapid increase poses to global health systems, particularly in managing associated risks like ischemic heart disease and stroke.

Type 2 diabetes is projected to account for over 95% of all cases, with high body mass index identified as the predominant risk factor.

However, factors such as low physical activity, poor diet, and genetic predispositions also significantly influence diabetes risk and its health impacts.

To address and mitigate these escalating numbers, the authors stress the need for comprehensive improvements in healthcare access, environmental factors, and public health strategies worldwide.

“Understanding the complex interplay of factors contributing to diabetes incidence and outcomes is crucial for developing effective prevention and management strategies,” explained study author Lauryn Stafford, underscoring the importance of addressing global disparities in healthcare access and services to combat diabetes effectively.

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Categorized as Health

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