Ten Percent of World May Have Diabetes By 2035

A concerning new report highlights a staggering prospect: by 2035, one in ten people across the globe will have diabetes. On November 14, for World Diabetes Day, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) released the sixth edition of its Diabetes Atlas. The report makes estimates of how many adults aged between 20 and 79 will be affected by the disease in the future, based on a specific set of variables. Of course this study is of interest to a number of organizations as well as to diabetics themselves. A major concern with studies such as these is the availability of diabetic accessories and other diabetic supply needs. For example, as the rates of diabetes increase, there is a possibility of increased competition for cheap insulin syringes, as well as for insulin pen needles and other supplies for diabetes.

According to the study by the IDF, by the end of the year some 382 million people will have diabetes around the world. For comparison, consider that only 285 million people globally had the disease just four years ago. While popular conception of the disease is that it is one of the wealthy, the IDF is at pains to point out that this is not borne out in the numbers. Eighty percent of people with the disease live in low- and middle-income countries, and most of them are between the ages of 40 and 59. Michael Hirst, president of the IDF, said in a statement that, “Diabetes is a disease of development. The misconception that diabetes is a ‘disease of the wealthy’ is still held, to the detriment of desperately needed funding to combat the pandemic.” Those who are living in less-wealthy countries need just as much access to affordable supplies for diabetes, such as cheap insulin syringes and insulin pen needles, or less expensive devices for measuring blood glucose levels.

In regards to the United States, the IDF estimates that 9.2% of the population will be living with one form of diabetes or another by the end of this year, for a total of 24.4 million people—of which 6.8 million will go undiagnosed. The report points out that, in spite of better treatments and improving education strategies, the battle to protect people from diabetes and its complications is “being lost.” A major concern voiced in the study is that China had the highest total number of citizens with the disease, with an estimated 98.4 million to be diagnosed by the end of the year. An epidemiologist and coordinator for IDF’s Diabetes Atlas, Leonor Guariguata, said of the trends, “We haven’t seen any kind of stabilizing, any kind of reversal. Diabetes continues to be a very big problem and is increasing even beyond previous projections.” As the numbers of individuals with the disease continue to increase, the main concern continues to be ensuring access for all individuals living with diabetes to the supplies they need. Diabetic supply companies and charities alike attempt to offer cheap insulin syringes, or affordable insulin pen needles, along with other diabetic accessories such as diabetes coolers. Supplies for diabetes can be difficult for many in developing countries to acquire, which is a grave concern for researchers.

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