The International Diabetes Federation predicts that at least
one in 10 adults could have diabetes by 2030, according to its
In a report issued on Monday, the advocacy group estimated that
552 million people could have diabetes in two decades' time based
on factors like aging and demographic changes. Currently, the
group says that about one adult in 13 has diabetes.
The figure includes both types of diabetes as well as cases
that are undiagnosed. The group expects the number of cases to
jump by 90 percent even in Africa, where infectious diseases
have previously been the top killer. Without including the impact
of increasing obesity, the International Diabetes Federation
said its figures were conservative.
According to the World Health Organization, there are about
346 million people worldwide with diabetes, with more than 80
percent of deaths occurring in developing countries. The agency
projects diabetes deaths will double by 2030 and said the International
Diabetes Federation's prediction was possible.
"It's a credible figure," said Gojka Roglic, head
of WHO's diabetes unit. "But whether or not it's correct,
we can't say."
Roglic said the projected future rise in diabetes cases was
because of aging rather than the obesity epidemic. Most cases
of diabetes are Type 2, the kind that mainly hits people in middle
age, and is linked to weight gain and a sedentary lifestyle.
Roglic said a substantial number of future diabetes
cases were preventable. "It's worrying because these people will have
an illness which is serious, debilitating, and shortens their
lives," she said. "But it doesn't have to happen if
we take the right interventions."