WHO: Diabetes Rises Fourfold Over Last Quarter-Century


The World Health Organization releases a report that reveals a nearly four-fold increase in worldwide cases of diabetes over the last quarter-century. The amount is quite substantial with a total number of 422 million people affected in 2014 compared to 108 million in 1980.

Factors that contribute to these numbers include excessive weight, obesity, aging as well as population growth. WHO also points out the ever increasing consumption of sugar-laden food and beverages as the main culprit.

While the growth of diabetes rises across the globe, the more significant increase are detected in Africa, Middle East and Asia – noticeably affecting mostly the lower and middle income population more than the wealthier demographics.

WHO Director-General – Dr Margaret Chan urges the public to improve their lifestyle. “We need to rethink our daily lives: to eat healthily, be physically active and avoid excessive weight gain.” told her on Wednesday.

The report demonstrates that the threat of this trend is real. The number of deaths caused by diabetes is as high as 1.5 million deaths in 2012 alone. Higher-than-optimal blood glucose caused an additional 2.2 million deaths, by increasing the risks of cardiovascular and other diseases.

Diabetes causes a lot of health complications as well as causing substantial economic loss to not only those who suffer diabetes, but also their families, as well as health systems and national economies through direct medical costs and loss of work and wages.