Alarming Projections for Diabetes Worldwide
It’s not exactly breaking news to learn that diabetes is on the rise. We’ve been watching the disease, particularly cases of Type 2 diabetes, grow dramatically in the United States and throughout the world for the past few decades.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the most recent numbers put diabetes diagnoses at roughly 37.3 million people in the United States alone. That’s shockingly more than 11% of the entire population. Equally alarming is the fact that about 23% of these cases, roughly 8.5 million people, remain undiagnosed and risk serious health complications down the road due to uncontrolled blood sugar and unmanaged diabetes.
Another worrisome statistic is the number of Americans facing prediabetes – elevated blood sugar that hasn’t yet reached the level of a diabDiabetes Worldwide Projections Are Alarming
New Research Shows Diabetes Cases to Exceed 1 Billion By 2050
etes diagnosis but will most likely get there without dietary and lifestyle changes. According to the CDC, there are approximately 96 million people in the United States living with prediabetes. That’s 38% of the adult population, a radically high number. Even worse, the vast majority of these people have no idea they are rapidly moving toward a diabetes diagnosis, as prediabetes rarely presents any telltale warning signs. If left unchecked, it’s almost a given that these cases will at some point reach blood sugar levels dictating a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
New study reveals diabetes cases will soar to 1 billion by 2050!
While CDC statistics focus primarily on health and wellness in the United States, we’re certainly not alone in the fight against diabetes. This is a global problem and a recent study published online in The Lancet on June 22, 2023, and later detailed in The Washington Post, points this out in frightening detail. According to the study, by 2050 we can expect 1.3 billion people around the world to be living with diabetes.
The study and its shocking results
In layman’s terms, researchers studied the global, regional, and national burden of diabetes from 1991 through 2021, examining cases in 204 countries, across 25 age groups, for males and females, as well as for the sexes combined.
What they revealed was staggering. In 2021, there were approximately 529 million people living with diabetes worldwide, roughly 6% of the world’s population. It was also found that the contribution of a high Body Mass Index (BMI) to the development of Type 2 diabetes rose by 24.3% around the world between the years 1991 and 2021, confirming the well-known relationship between obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
What’s more, by following the climb in diabetes numbers between the two dates, researchers determined that by the year 2050, cases of diabetes would rise from 6% of the world’s population to nearly 10%, a figure that would take the number of individual diabetes cases past the 1 billion marker, more specifically to around 1.3 billion cases of diabetes.
The global spike is driven by type 2 diabetes
Researchers who conducted the study found that somewhere in the neighborhood of 96% of individuals worldwide who had diabetes in 2021, we’re living with the Type 2 form of the metabolic disease. Researchers noted this was primarily due to a rise in obesity around the world, an issue that continues to be a growing problem today.
A worldwide public health challenge
The exponential growth of diabetes that’s happening now and projected to continue, bringing cases across the 1 billion number by 2050, poses a serious issue for the world at large and individual countries struggling to manage healthcare burdens.
Researchers of the study wrote, “The continued global spread of diabetes presents a massive public health challenge.” It’s one that extends to governments, policymakers, health-care professionals and organizations, communities, and patients.
It’s not just diabetes
Diabetes is rarely a solo health condition, particularly when examining Type 2 diabetes. That’s because the elevated blood sugar associated with diabetes can also contribute to several related health complications, including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage), eye disease and vision loss, stroke, a higher risk of serious infection and more.
Clearly, these other related medical conditions will further the burden an increase in diabetes will have on nations, communities, and families. In the United States alone, the CDC states the annual price tag of diabetes is about $327 billion! If that doesn’t put things in perspective, look at it this way – $1 out of every $4 in health care costs are spent on caring for people with diabetes. What’s more, up to 64% of lifetime medical costs for a person with diabetes are for related complications, such as heart disease and stroke.
This is only in the United States. As cases of diabetes continue to grow around the world, the impact both economically and in terms of general health are sure to grow, as well.
What can you do?
If you haven’t been diagnosed with diabetes yet but are living with risk factors, such as obesity and family history, ask your doctor to check for prediabetes. The CDC points out that lifestyle changes, focusing on healthy eating and physical activity, can substantially reduce the risk of prediabetes becoming Type 2 diabetes.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, self-management is the key to avoiding diabetes-related complications. Test your blood sugar daily using a glucose meter and compatible test strips, or a doctor-prescribed continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system. Follow your prescribed medication schedule that might include oral medications, as well as insulin delivered by syringe, pen or insulin pump. Eat a healthy low-fat, low-sugar diet that’s rich in leafy green vegetables, lean proteins, and fiber. Plus, get approximately 150 minutes of physical activity each week in accordance with American Diabetes Association (ADA) guidelines.
There is no doubt that diabetes is on the rise – in the United States and worldwide. Hopefully, a growing spotlight on the problem will help many people on the path to developing Type 2 diabetes take steps to prevent the disease’s progression. For those of us living with diabetes, our responsibility is to keep our diabetes under control by ensuring our blood sugar remains in check. This is how we lower the risk of related complications, improving our own lives and, therefore, the lives of those we love.
We hope you found this post informative and insightful. At Diabetic Warehouse, we’re committed to helping those with diabetes manage blood sugar with a complete selection of testing and treatment supplies at prices up to 65% less than those found at most pharmacies and suppliers.
Diabetic Warehouse is a trusted supplier of diabetes care products and accessories. For more information and to explore a complete range of products, including glucose meters and test strips, insulin syringes, pen needles, continuous glucose monitoring systems, and more, visit www.diabeticwarehouse.org.