One in 11 adults worldwide are living with diabetes, and those who are women face unique and multiple barriers to accessing cost-effective diabetes prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and care, particularly in developing countries. Those are the findings of the 8th Diabetes Atlas, released on Tuesday, World Diabetes Day.
425 million adults are currently living with diabetes, 10 million more than in 2015, according to Atlas author, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). Diabetes, an NCD, is set to affect almost 700 million people by 2045, and over 350 million adults are currently at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the most prevalent form.
Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. It is associated with a number of debilitating complications affecting the eyes, heart, kidneys, nerves and feet.
"This represents nothing less than a global health tsunami that is undermining the health and productivity of populations and crippling economies" - NCDA CEO Katie Dain
"The new IDF Diabetes Atlas highlights that the world is free-falling into a sick future," said NCDA CEO Katie Dain. "Within 30 years, the numbers of people living with diabetes is expected to spiral to almost 700 million people, and global health expenditure will exceed USD776 billion. This represents nothing less than a global health tsunami that is undermining the health and productivity of populations and crippling economies."
"Governments need to wake up and commit to take urgent action against diabetes and other noncommunicable diseases, ahead of the 2018 UN High-level Meeting on NCDs," Dain added.
Over 200 million women are currently living with diabetes, which is also a serious and neglected threat to the health of mother and child. It affects one in six births and is linked to complications during and after delivery.
Noting that some progress has been made fighting diabetes in recent years, IDF warns that only urgent action will allow the world to attain the following agreed global targets: by 2025, a 0% increase in diabetes and obesity prevalence and 80% access to essential medicines and devices; by 2025, a 30% reduction in premature mortality from NCDs.