The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that cases of diabetes have nearly quadrupled since 1980 to around 422 million adults, with most of these living in developing countries. This represents approximately 8.5 percent of the population, which is nearly double the 4.7 percent reported in 1980. Diabetes increased around the world but affects lower- and middle-income people more often than wealthier populations. WHO attributes the rise to the growing consumption of food and beverages high in sugar and rates of obesity. The rates rose most in Africa, the Middle East and Asia — with the “Eastern Mediterranean” region more than doubling its prevalence to 13.7 percent of the population, the only world region with a double-digit percentage. As we know, complications of diabetes can lead to heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and lower limb amputation. Rates of lower limb amputation are 10 to 20 times higher for people with diabetes. WHO reports that Diabetes caused 1.5 million deaths in 2012. Higher-than-optimal blood glucose caused an additional 2.2 million deaths by increasing the risks of cardiovascular and other diseases.
Read the full report here.