Published on 14 November 2017

New figures released on World Diabetes Day reveal 10 million new diagnoses’ in last two years.

New estimates on the prevalence of diabetes around the world have been released today by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) to mark World Diabetes Day.

Latest figures show that 1 in 11 adults are currently living with diabetes, 10 million more than in 2015.

The recently published 8th edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas confirmed that as one of the largest global health emergencies, more action is urgently required at the national level to reduce the economic and social burden caused by diabetes.

A number of debilitating complications linked to diabetes affecting the eyes, heart, kidneys, nerves and feet, are set to affect almost 700 million people by 2045. More than 350 million adults are currently at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the most prevalent form of the condition (affecting around 90% of people with the condition).

The report highlights the importance of screening and early diagnosis for the condition as it is estimated one in two adults with diabetes remain undiagnosed.

Two-thirds of adults with diabetes are of working age and 8 million more adults living with diabetes are aged over 65.

Dr Nam Cho, IDF President-Elect and Chair of the IDF Diabetes Atlas committee, said: “Diabetes causes devastating personal suffering and drives families into poverty. There is urgency for more collective, multi-sectoral action to improve diabetes outcomes and reduce the global burden of diabetes. If we do not act in time to prevent type 2 diabetes and improve management of all types of diabetes, we place the livelihood of future generations at risk.”

A crowd walking in a city.

World Diabetes Day
 is held each year on 14th November and is recognised in more than 160 countries.

With more than 200 million women living with diabetes worldwide, this year’s World Diabetes Day highlights the disproportionate impact on women of the condition, as many face multiple barriers in accessing cost-effective diabetes prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and care, particularly in developing countries.

This year’s World Diabetes Day campaign theme promotes the importance of affordable and equal access for all women at risk for or living with diabetes to essential diabetes medicines and technologies, self-management education and information required, with the aim of preventing new cases of type 2 diabetes.

According to the IDF, women with diabetes are more likely to be poor and have less resources, face discrimination and have to survive in hostile social environments. Diabetes can also be a serious threat to the health of mother and child, affecting one in six births and linked to complications during and after delivery.

IDF President Dr Shaukat Sadikot said: “Women and girls are key agents in the adoption of healthy lifestyles to prevent the further rise of diabetes and so it is important that they are given affordable and equitable access to the medicines, technologies, education and information they require to achieve optimal diabetes outcomes and strengthen their capacity to promote healthy behaviours.”

IDF welcomes all the international commitments on diabetes that have been made over the last few years and acknowledges that some advances have taken place. However, it is clear that urgent action is still required to achieve the targets agreed by UN member states in 2013 and 2015.

IDF has launched a call to action for governments around the world to renew their commitments and increase their efforts towards achieving the agreed targets.

Dr Sadikot said: “IDF is calling for all nations affected by the diabetes pandemic to work towards the full implementation of the commitments that have been made. We have both the knowledge and the expertise to create a brighter future for generations to come.”

Read the 8th edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas
Find out more about World Diabetes Day
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