News & Events
Diabetes Cases Double to 347 Million
(The Wall Street Journal – June 27, 2011) The number of adults with diabetes has doubled world-wide over the last three decades to nearly 350 million and increased nearly threefold in the U.S., a sign that the epidemic will impose an ever-greater cost burden on health systems.
The latest calculation, based on a study published in the British journal Lancet, found that the number of adult diabetics jumped to 347 million from 153 million in 1980.
According to the study, the U.S. had 24.7 million diabetics in 2008, nearly triple the level of three decades ago. The estimate includes people afflicted with type-1 diabetes, which is a disorder of the body’s immune system, as well as the far more common type-2 diabetes, a chronic disorder marked by high levels of sugar in the blood.
While about 70% of the increase was attributed to population growth and aging, the balance was linked to changing diets, rising obesity and growing rates of physical inactivity.
“Diabetes is a long-lasting and disabling condition, and it’s going to be the largest cost for many health systems,” said Majid Ezzati, a professor of global environmental health at Imperial College London and a lead author of the study.