A major report looking at the prevalence of type 2 diabetes will warn that cases in people aged 20-39, currently at nearly 63 million globally, are set to rise by 19% to nearly 75 million (close to the entire population of Turkey1) if measures are not urgently taken to stem the tide of the disease2.
This equates to around 12 million new cases in those aged 20-39 by 2035.
Diagnoses of type 2 in children, which used to be rare, are increasing. In some countries type 2 diabetes now accounts for almost half of new cases in children and adolescents3.
The report warns that the health consequences of the condition, which include heart disease, stroke, diabetic retinopathy, kidney disease and lower limb amputations, are more severe than generally recognised and calls on policymakers around the world to act to prevent rising rates. It is estimated that up to 80 per cent of cases of type 2 diabetes could be prevented through changing diet, increasing physical activity and improving the living environment4.
Type 2 diabetes rates are also increasing throughout the world’s adult population and experts warn that it is set to affect nearly 600 million people by 2035 (equating to around 10% of the world’s adult population), at a projected cost of $627 billion USD globally5.
The findings of the report will be presented in full at the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), an initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, to be attended by more than 1,000 health policymakers and specialists from around the world, in Doha, Qatar from 17-18 February, 2015.
Speaking ahead of the summit, Diabetes Forum Chair Professor Stephen Colagiuri, Professor of Metabolic Health at the University of Sydney, Australia, said: “Type 2 diabetes is fast becoming a worldwide epidemic and it is extremely worrying that we are starting to see it increasing in younger generations. Our report will aim to equip policymakers with the information they need to assess the health and cost impacts of the disease, learn from interventions that work and ultimately put in place measures to help stem the tide of diabetes. It is vital that policymakers act to put interventions in place for the sake of current and future generations.”
Professor The Lord Darzi of Denham, Executive Chair of WISH and Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College of London, said: “Combatting rising rates of type 2 diabetes should be a worldwide priority. Often the impact of diabetes, alongside other chronic conditions, is underestimated but the findings of this report will highlight to both policymakers and the public the true scale of the problem we are facing.
“We must act now to prevent the disease before it becomes unmanageable for future generations. I am delighted that the report by Professor Stephen Colagiuri and his colleagues will set out practical steps for combatting the disease at the upcoming World Innovation Summit for Health and I hope their recommendations will be heeded.”
The situation in the UK
- In the UK alone, charity Diabetes UK estimates that nearly 10 million people in England are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and estimates that more than four million people will have diabetes in the UK6 by 2025.
- Also in the UK, Diabetes is currently estimated to cost the UK £23.7bn, and with diabetes becoming more common, this figure is set to rise to £40bn by 2035-367.
The situation in the Middle East
- The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) indicates that between 2013 – 2035 the countries with the highest growth in diabetes prevalence will be UAE, Oman and Qatar8.
- Rates in MENA (the Middle East and North Africa) as a whole will increase by 96.2% by 20359
- Additionally Saudi Arabia and Kuwait already feature on the IDF’s top 10 list of countries with the largest comparative prevalence rates from 201410.
The situation in the USA
- The USA currently has the third highest rates of diabetes in people aged 20-79 in the world (behind India and China) at over 24 million people with the condition11
- Health expenditure on diabetes in North America and the Caribbean is estimated to account for almost half (42%) of the world’s diabetes-related healthcare spending12
- According to research from the Center for Disease Control, as many as 1 in 3 US adults could have diabetes by 2050 if current trends continue13.
 According to TurkStat the population of Turkey in 2013 was 76,481,847: http://www.turkstat.gov.tr/PreHaberBultenleri.do?id=15844
 Based on figures from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). IDF Diabetes Atlas, 6th edn: http://www.idf.org/sites/default/files/EN_6E_Atlas_Full_0.pdf (p141). Current figure for 20-39 year olds with diabetes 62,991,980. Experts expect this to rise by 19% to 74,960,456 by 2035, an increase of 11,968,476.
 World Health Organisation 10 facts about diabetes: http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/diabetes/facts/en/index4.html
 International Diabetes Federation (IDF). IDF Diabetes Atlas, 6th edn: http://www.idf.org/sites/default/files/EN_6E_Atlas_Full_0.pdf (p14)
 International Diabetes Federation (IDF). IDF Diabetes Atlas, 6th edn. Brussels: IDF, 2013.
 International Diabetes Federation (IDF). IDF Diabetes Atlas, 6th edn. http://www.idf.org/sites/default/files/EN_6E_Atlas_Full_0.pdf (p 12)
 International Diabetes Federation (IDF). IDF Diabetes Atlas, 6th edn. http://www.idf.org/sites/default/files/EN_6E_Atlas_Full_0.pdf (p33)
 International Diabetes Federation (IDF). IDF Diabetes Atlas, 6th edn. http://www.idf.org/sites/default/files/EN_6E_Atlas_Full_0.pdf (p 13)
 International Diabetes Federation (IDF). IDF Diabetes Atlas, 6th edn. http://www.idf.org/sites/default/files/EN_6E_Atlas_Full_0.pdf (p 62)