Diabetes on the Rise
Reported March 2, 2007
By Rebekah Addy, Ivanhoe Health Correspondent
ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 180 million adults and children have diabetes worldwide. New research reveals that number will likely more than double by 2030.
Researchers from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto studied adults living in Ontario between 1995 and 2005 and found there was a 69-percent increase in diabetes prevalence. This is already higher than the WHO-predicted 39 percent global increase in diabetes between 2000 and 2030.
Although researchers only studied adults living in Ontario, they said the results may apply to other countries. Study author Lorraine Lipscombe, M.D., told Ivanhoe, “Ontario is very likely representative of the rest of Canada, and probably a lot of the developed world, given our industrialized province and the Western type of lifestyle we have, so we think the trends are probably similar in other parts.”
Researchers report the discrepancy between the estimated and actual numbers can be attributed to both the conservative estimate given by the WHO and the previous assumption obesity rates would remain constant. Additionally, there are a large number of new diabetes cases, and people are living longer.
Though, the highest numbers of diabetes cases are found in the older population, researchers report the younger generation is rapidly catching up. Between 1995 and 2005, the prevalence of diabetes increased about 31-percent more in young people than in older people. Dr. Lipscombe said she hopes these findings will not create alarm, but awareness. “We hope that our findings will serve to increase awareness that we will need to plan for greater resource allocation for diabetes care. I also hope this will serve as an impetus to increase diabetes prevention strategies,” she said.
Although diabetes is on the rise, there are steps people can take to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. Dr. Lipscombe recommends people follow a healthy lifestyle plan, including eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, the United States has the third-highest number of people with diabetes, following India and China. Worldwide, one person will die every 10 seconds from a diabetes-related cause, which contributes to the 3.8 million diabetes deaths each year.
SOURCE: Ivanhoe interview with Lorraine Lipscombe, M.D.; The Lancet, 2007; 369:750-756