Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in the world. It is characterized by high blood sugar levels and can lead to serious complications such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, vision loss and leg ulcers. Researchers from around the world warn that the number of people living with diabetes will skyrocket in the coming decades.
A recent study published in The Lancet found that by 2050, the number of people suffering from diabetes will more than double to 1.3 billion. This is an alarming trend that requires immediate attention and action.
The researchers analyzed data on diabetes prevalence, disability and mortality in 204 countries and territories from 1990 to 2021. They used a modeling tool that takes into account socio-demographic factors and obesity to predict the future prevalence of diabetes.
One of the key findings of the study is that an increase in the number of diabetes cases is expected in every country. Regions such as North Africa, the Middle East and Pacific Island nations will be particularly affected. In these regions, one in five people could be living with diabetes by 2050 if current trends continue. This is particularly important for the elderly, as the prevalence of diabetes among them will be even higher.
The main factors influencing the increase in diabetes cases are the aging population and obesity. Obesity is currently the most important risk factor for type 2 diabetes. It accounts for more than half of diabetes-related disability and mortality.
However, it is worth noting that type 2 diabetes is a largely preventable disease. This means that taking appropriate steps to prevent and control obesity can significantly reduce the risk of developing this disease. This includes proper diet, physical activity and avoiding bad habits such as smoking and alcohol consumption.
However, despite all efforts, less than 1 in 10 people with diabetes in low- and middle-income countries have access to comprehensive diabetes care. This places a significant burden on health systems and calls for more comprehensive screening and treatment.
Collective action is needed to combat the growing diabetes epidemic. It is important to conduct awareness campaigns about diabetes prevention and control, and to ensure that comprehensive treatment is available to all those in need. This requires collaboration between government, health organizations, academic institutions and the public.