The scourge of diabetes, and really that’s what it has become, has spread like wildfire over the last three decades. In fact, since 1980 the rate of diabetes has doubled. It is estimated that 350 million people across the globe now have the disease.
A major international study has analyzed the blood sugar of 2.7 million people, 25 years and older. What they found was that the diabetes rate has more than doubled from the 153 million people estimated to have had the disease in 1980.
In those three decades, the rate of male diabetes has gone from 8.3 percent to 9.8 percent, an 18 percent rise. The increase in women was even higher, from 7.5 percent to 9.2 percent, which was an increase of 23 percent.
“Diabetes is one of the biggest causes of morbidity (illness) and mortality worldwide,” says the study’s co-leader Professor Majid Ezzati of Imperial College in London. “Our study has shown that diabetes is becoming more common almost everywhere in the world. This is in contrast to blood pressure and cholesterol, which have both fallen in many regions. Diabetes is much harder to prevent and treat than these other conditions.”
The most common form of diabetes is type 2, which is linked to lifestyle choices. It’s estimated that type 2 accounts for between 85 percent and 95 percent of all diabetes cases.
Researchers believe the two main factors that influence the current diabetes rates are rising weight problems, and ironically, longer lifespans. Countries with the highest diabetes rates include the United States, New Zealand and Spain. Among the lowest rates were in Austria, the Netherlands and France.
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(via: Yahoo! UK & Ireland)