One in ten of the world’s population will have diabetes by 2035 and by the end of this year, 5.1 million people will have died from complications related to the disease.
These are just a couple of the sobering statistics from the latest edition of the Diabetes Atlas published by the International Diabetes Federation. The report estimates that people living with diabetes will surge from 382 million to 592 million people by 2035, while $548 billion was spent on diabetes in 2013, 11% of total healthcare expenditure.
The Western Pacific has the largest number of people with diabetes in the world, the IDF notes. It gives the example of the island of Tokelau, where one adult in three has the disease, "providing a microcosm of how diabetes could play out in more populous nations within the coming decades". China with 98 million, India (65 million) and the USA (24 million) have the highest numbers of people with diabetes.
IDF president Sir Michael Hirst said that "the misconception that diabetes is ‘a disease of the wealthy' is still held to the detriment of desperately needed funding to combat the pandemic”.