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Number of adults with diabetes quadrupled over the past 35 years

Comment by Monique Verschuren, EACPR Prevention, Epidemiology and Population Science Section


In this paper, global trends in diabetes have been analysed, based on 751 studies including 4.4 million adults from 146 countries.

Global age-standardised prevalence of diabetes increased in men from 4.3% in 1980 to 9.0% in 2014 and in women from 5.0% in 1980 to 7.9% in 2014. Together with population growth and ageing of populations, the total number of adults with diabetes has increased even stronger, from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. The highest national prevalences (found in Oceania, Middle East and north Africa) were five to ten times greater than the lowest prevalences (found in north western Europe).

The authors conclude that if post-2000 trends continue, the chance of meeting the global diabetes targets of the WHO 2025 agenda (halting the rise in prevalence of diabetes at the 2010 level worldwide) is almost zero.  

Read also the comment by Susana Sans: "The world is getting heavier" on a related article in the Lancet.

The content of this article reflects the personal opinion of the author/s and is not necessarily the official position of the European Society of Cardiology