Number of adults with diabetes has quadrupled since 1980: WHO

Number of adults with diabetes has quadrupled since 1980: WHO

Number of adults with diabetes has quadrupled since 1980: WHO

The number of adults living with diabetes has nearly quadrupled to 422 million over 35 years, the WHO warned today, adding the world is facing an "unrelenting march" of the disease which now affects nearly one in 11 people.

A major new report by World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that the diabetes cases have risen to 422 million in 2014 from 108 million in 1980, 314 million more.

High blood sugar levels are a major killer - linked to 3.7 million deaths around the world each year, the report said.

The numbers would continue to increase unless "drastic action" was taken, officials said.
The report clubs both type 1 and type 2 diabetes together, but the surge in cases is predominantly down to type 2 - the form closely linked to poor lifestyle.

"Diabetes is a silent disease, but it is on an unrelenting march that we need to stop," Dr Etienne Krug, the WHO official in charge of leading efforts against diabetes was quoted as saying by the 'BBC News'.

"We can stop it, we know what needs to be done, but we cannot let it evolve like it does because it has a huge impact on people's health, on families and on society," said Krug.
"Two things really worry me when I read this report. One is that one-in-11 people today have diabetes. And the other is the lack of fairness.

"Today in most low income countries, people who have diabetes and need access to medicine and technology to manage it don't have access to it," he said.

Failing to control levels of sugar in the blood has devastating health consequences.
It triples the risk of a heart attack and leaves people 20 times more likely to have a leg amputated, as well as increasing the risk of stroke, kidney failure, blindness and complications in pregnancy.

The Middle East has seen the prevalence of diabetes soar from 5.9 per cent of adults in 1980 to 13.7 per cent in 2014.

"We are the region that has experienced the greatest rise in diabetes, moving from 6 million to 43 million - it is a huge, huge increase," said Dr Slim Slama, a WHO specialist in region.

"The 'easy' solution is for all of us to exercise, eat healthily and not gain excess weight - of course it's not so easy," Krug added.

He called for governments to regulate the fat and sugar content of foods to ensure there were healthy options available to people.

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