India, China home to worlds one- third diabetics: Study

FPJ BureauUpdated: Sunday, June 02, 2019, 08:30 AM IST
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Boston The number of adults who have been diagnosed with diabetes worldwide has doubled since 1980 to 347 million, with more than a third of them living in India and China, a new study has found, reports PTI. According to the study by Harvard and

World Health Organisation ( WHO), the largest of its kind for diabetes, 70 per cent of the rise in worldwide diabetic cases was due to population growth and ageing, with the other 30 per cent due to higher prevalence. Between 1980 and 2008, the number of adults with diabetes rose from 153 million to 347 million.

Of this number, 138 million live in China and India and another 36 million in the US and Russia, according to the study carried out by an international collaboration of researchers, led by Professor Majid Ezzati from Imperial College London and co- led by Goodarz Danaei from the Harvard School of Public Health, in collaboration with The World Health Organisation.

Our study has shown that diabetes is becoming more common almost everywhere in the world, 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, Ezzati said, adding that diabetes is one of the biggest causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide.

The estimated number of 347 million diabetics was considerably higher than a previous study in 2009 which put the number worldwide at 285 million.

The research, published in the journal Lancet, reveals that the prevalence of diabetes has risen or at best remained unchanged in virtually every part of the world over the last three decades.

Unless we develop better programmes for detecting people with elevated blood sugar and helping them to improve their diet and physical activity and control their weight, diabetes will inevitably continue to impose a major burden on health systems around the world, Harvards Danaei added. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and WHO, the study also found that diabetes has taken off most dramatically in Pacific Island nations, which now have the highest diabetes levels in the world. Diabetes over time raises the risk of heart disease and stroke, and can also cause damage to the kidneys, nerves and retinas.

High blood glucose and diabetes are responsible for over three million deaths worldwide each year, the study added.

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