On World Diabetes Day, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has released new figures that highlight the alarming growth in the prevalence of diabetes around the world. New findings published today in the 9th Edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas, show that Pakistan is now in the top 10 countries for absolute increase in diabetes prevalence.
The IDF Diabetes Atlas 9th Edition reports that the prevalence of diabetes in Pakistan has reached 17.1%, now 148% higher than previously reported. In 2019, over 19 million adults in Pakistan are estimated to be living with diabetes putting them at risk of life-threatening complications. 8.5 million of these 19 million, are undiagnosed and, as a result, may be particularly at risk.
According to International Diabetes Federation 38 million more adults are now estimated to be living with diabetes globally compared to the results published in 2017. Globally, an estimated 463 million adults are living with diabetes and 55 million are in the Middle East and North Africa Region alone. Type 2 diabetes accounts for up to 90% of the total.
The rise in the number of people with type 2 diabetes is driven by a complex interplay of socio-economic, demographic, environmental and genetic factors. Key contributors include urbanisation, an ageing population, decreasing levels of physical activity and increasing levels of overweight and obesity. For reasons which are unknown, type 1 diabetes is also on the rise.
“Diabetes is a serious threat to global health that respects neither socioeconomic status nor national boundaries,” said Prof. Abdul Basit, Director, Baqai Institute of Diabetology & Endocrinology (BIDE), Karachi, and member of the IDF Diabetes Atlas Committee. “The increasing prevalence of diabetes in Pakistan is a wake-up call. We must do more to prevent type 2 diabetes, diagnose all forms of diabetes early and prevent complications. We must also ensure that every person with diabetes has affordable and uninterrupted access to the care they need.”
Other key global findings from the IDF Diabetes Atlas 9th Edition reveal that Diabetes is among the top ten causes of death, with up to half of deaths occurring in people under the age of 60. The total number of people with diabetes is predicted to rise to 578 million by 2030 and to 700 million by 2045. 374 million adults have impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), placing them at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Diabetes was responsible for an estimated $760 billion in health expenditure in 2019. One in six live births are affected by hyperglycaemia in pregnancy (HIP).
Diabetes has an impact on all age groups, regardless of geography and income. Globally, over 1.1 million children and adolescents are living with type 1 diabetes, while three in every four people with diabetes (352 million) are of working age (20-64 years). The rise in prevalence is putting a strain on the capacity of countries to guarantee regular and affordable access to essential medicines and appropriate care. This leaves many struggling to manage their diabetes, placing their health at serious risk.
When their diabetes is undetected or when they are inadequately supported, people with diabetes are at risk of serious and life-threatening complications, such as heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and lower-limb amputation. These result in reduced quality of life and higher healthcare costs, and place undue stress on families.
Much can be done to reduce the impact of diabetes. Evidence suggests that type 2 diabetes can often be prevented, while early diagnosis and access to appropriate care for all types of diabetes can avoid or delay complications in people living with the condition.
For more information and supporting data about the national, regional and global prevalence of diabetes included in the IDF Diabetes Atlas 9th Edition, visit www.diabetesatlas.org.