More than 1.3 billion adults will have diabetes by 2050, says study

More than 1.3 billion adults will have diabetes by 2050, says study

The number of adults living with diabetes across the world will more than double by 2050. 

This is according to latest findings published in in The Lancet and The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journals.

New estimates predict the number will rise from 529 million in 2021 to more than 1.3 billion in 2050.

In addition, no country is expected to see a drop in its rate over the next 30 years.

‘Diabetes remains one of the biggest public health threats of our time and is set to grow aggressively over the coming three decades in every country, age group and sex, posing a serious challenge to healthcare systems worldwide,’ said Dr Shivani Agarwal, series lead at the Montefiore Health System and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

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The UN has predicted that by 2050, the world’s population will be around 9.8 billion. With this in mind, estimates suggest between one in seven and one in eight people will be living with diabetes.

The study’s authors argued that structural racism and geographical inequity affect the care and treatment to which people with diabetes have access.

According to figures, in 2021, type 2 diabetes accounted for 90% of all diabetes prevalence

The study states: ‘Most of this burden is attributable to social risk factors – such as high BMI, dietary risks, environmental and occupational risks, tobacco use, alcohol use, and low physical activity – that thrive on the obesogenic way our environments are designed and the inequitable way we organise our resources and societies.’

Backlog in care

This comes as experts call for ‘urgent action’ after its new report revealed the ‘catastrophic impact’ of the state of diabetes care in England.

A new Diabetes UK report into diabetes care in England has found that less than half of people with diabetes are receiving vital care.

It also revealed that the number of people dying from diabetes in the UK per year has increased by 7,000. The charity believes this increase may be linked to the backlog in routine diabetes care caused by COVID-19.

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