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This article originally posted 10 August, 2004 and appeared in  Issue 220

Worldwide Diabetes Will Double By 2030<br>Issue 220 Item 13

U.S. will have over 30 million,but the most significant increases are expected in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and India.
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The number of people with diabetes throughout the world is expected to double by 2030, according to a new study led by the World Health Organization and carried out in cooperation with researchers from universities in Scotland, Denmark and Australia.

The researchers, led by Sara Wild, PhD, from the University of Edinburgh, predicted that the number of people with diabetes worldwide will continue to increase at record levels through 2030. Wild and her colleagues said the greatest relative increase in diabetes prevalence is expected in the Middle Eastern, sub-Saharan Africa and India. The researchers also said that the United States will experience a far more rapid increase in diabetes cases than previously expected.

Wild and her colleagues arrived at these predictions by analyzing data on diabetes prevalence in countries throughout the world. The researchers said the worldwide prevalence of diabetes for all age groups was estimated to be 2.8% in 2000. But the researchers predict this number will increase to 4.4% by 2030. They also predicted that the total number of people with diabetes will rise to 366 million in 2030, up from 171 million in 2000.

The three countries with the highest prevalence of diabetes in 2000 were India, China and the United States. The researchers said these countries are expected to continue to have the highest prevalence in 2030.

But this new study projects an even higher increase for the United States than a 2001 study by the CDC had previously predicted. That study projected the number of Americans with diagnosed diabetes would reach 29 million by 2050; but this new WHO study estimates that there will be 30.3 million Americans with diabetes by as early as 2030.

Wild and her colleagues also predicted that Egypt and the Philippines will be among the top 10 countries with the highest prevalence of diabetes by 2030. But they said Italy and Russia are expected to drop from this list.

The researchers said their findings are particularly concerning because as diabetes is expected to increase in developing countries over the next three decades, mortality from communicable disease and infant and maternal mortality will decrease. Wild and her colleagues said this change will lead to higher proportions of deaths from cardiovascular disease, as well as a great incidence of other diabetes-related complications, which will be particularly marked in developing countries. “The human and economic costs of this epidemic are enormous,” Wild and her colleagues noted. “A concerted, global initiative is required to address the diabetes epidemic.”

Wild S. et al. Global prevalence of diabetes: Estimates for the year 2000 and projections for 2030. Diabetes Care. 2004;27:1047-1053.
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FACT: One can of coke contains nearly 10 teaspoons of sugar or the entire daily recommended amount of calories from sugar.

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This article originally posted 10 August, 2004 and appeared in  Issue 220

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