In some Pacific Island nations there has been an alarming surge in diabetes prevalence. One adult in three has the disease on the Pacific Island of Tokelau, providing a microcosm of how diabetes could play out in more populous nations within the coming decades.Sub-Saharan Africa will see a doubling in the number of people with diabetes by 2035, the largest surge of any region in the world.
Previous estimates from the IDF Diabetes Atlas in 2012 put the number of people with diabetes at 371 million and number of deaths for 2012 at 4.8 million. The new figures show that the upward trend will continue. By the end of 2013, 5.1 million people will have died from diabetes related complications. With 175 million undiagnosed cases many people are progressing towards complications unawares.
Chinawith 98 million, India with 65 million and the USA with 24 million have the highest numbers of people with diabetes. Regionally the Western Pacific, which includes countries such as Australia, China and Japan, has 138 million people with diabetes, the highest number of people with the disease in the world.
"Diabetes is a disease of development. The misconception that diabetes is 'a disease of the wealthy' is still held, to the detriment of desperately needed funding to combat the pandemic" said Sir Michael Hirst, President of IDF speaking at the International Diabetes Leadership Forum in Istanbul, Turkey. "On World Diabetes Day, we must continue to increase awareness of the importance of a healthy diet and physical activity. Crucially, environments must be created that lay the foundations for healthy living."
Other findings from the 6th edition Diabetes Atlas include:
- 548 billion USD were spent on diabetes in 2013
- North America spends the most healthcare dollars on diabetes
- In South East Asia almost half of all people with diabetes are undiagnosed
- The Western Pacific has the largest number of people with diabetes in the world
- In Africa, three quarters of diabetes deaths are in people under 60 years old
- In the Middle East and North Africa, one in ten people have diabetes
- In South and Central America, there will be a 60% increase in the number of people with diabetes within a generation
The release of these figures underlines the urgency around IDF's commitment to see diabetes and other Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) included in an overarching health target in the post-2015 development framework. This will ensure a whole-of-society approach to prevention, treatment, care and support for diabetes and NCDs.
It is hoped that campaigns such as today's World Diabetes Day will continue to raise the voice of people with diabetes and to encourage all stakeholders to move from advocacy to action on a global scale.
About World Diabetes Day
World Diabetes Day (WDD) is celebrated every year on November 14. The World Diabetes Day campaign is led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and its member associations. It engages millions of people worldwide in diabetes advocacy and awareness. World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organizati on in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat that diabetes now poses. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2007 with the passage of United Nation Resolution 61/225. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public spotlight. This year sees the fourth of a five-year campaign that will address the growing need for diabetes education and prevention programmes.
About the International Diabetes Federation (IDF)
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is an umbrella organisation of over 200 national diabetes associations in over 160 countries. It represents the interests of the growing number of people with diabetes and those at risk. The Federation has been leading the global diabetes community since 1950. IDF's mission is to promote diabetes care, prevention and a cure worldwide.