Global Diabetes Rate Keeps Climbing
The rate of diabetes around the world is rapidly rising, concludes a new study published in the journal The Lancet. Researchers found that the number of cases globally jumped 45 percent between 1990 and 2013, and that one factor behind the increase is that people in fast-developing countries like China, India and Mexico are living longer under better economic conditions.
The study was conducted by The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The researchers calculated the overall burden of disability by figuring out the proportion of a given population living with a condition during any given year. It is the largest analysis of global disability data to date, drawing on more than 35,000 data sources in 188 countries.
The top five disabilities remained the same: lower back pain, major depression, iron deficiency anemia, neck pain, and hearing loss. A notable change was that diarrheal disease dropped down the list from No. 15 to 25. But diabetes moved up from No. 10 in 1990 to No. 7 in 2013. While diabetes increased in China by 56 percent during the study period, it rose even more in the U.S. (71 percent) and Saudi Arabia (60 percent.)
The positive news is that even though the rate of diabetes is increasing, the death rate from the condition is dropping as people live longer with the disease due to improved health care, monitoring, and medications. The rate of type 2 diabetes complications such as stroke, heart attack and kidney failure has actually decreased significantly during the past two decades.
Overall, the results showed that the total number of people with a disability in the world has risen due to population growth and old age. But the actual rate of disability has decreased to 110 per 1,000 people in 2013, compared with 114 per 1,000 in 1990.