New Study Shows Spike in Diabetes Worldwide

November 1, 2011

The number of adults with diabetes in the world has more than doubled since 1980, a study shows.

Researchers from Imperial College London and Harvard University in the U.S. analysed data from 2.7 million people across the world. They claim the total number of people with diabetes has risen from 153 million to 347 million.

In a statment, Majid Ezzati of Imperial College London, said, "Diabetes is becoming more common almost everywhere in the world. Unless we develop better programs for detecting people with elevated blood sugar and helping them to control their weight, diabetes will continue to impose a major burden on health systems around the world."

Diabetes leads to inadequate blood sugar control, which can damage the kidneys and cause blindness. It can also cause heart disease and strokes. Type 2 diabetes is closely linked with obesity.

The study revealed that of developed nations, the U.S. had the highest prevalence.

According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, there are more than 9 million Canadians living with diabetes, and more than 20 people are diagnosed with the disease every hour of every day.