A latest study It has produced a series of data that should put us on alert. They have drawn a timeline of diabetes cases and have seen the estimate skyrocket in the coming decades. In fact, if they are correct, by 2050 more than a billion people in the world will be living with the chronic condition.
In other words, if the numbers reflected in the study are reached, there will be approximately double the number of cases observed today, being especially dangerous in parts of Africa and the Middle East.
When we talk about diabetes we talk about a condition that is defined as having chronically high levels of sugar in the blood. The reasons are very varied, although the most repeated have to do with failures in our production or response to insulin, a hormone that helps move sugar from the bloodstream to our cells.
On the other hand, science and advances with medicines have allowed for better control of blood sugar, changing the near-deadly dangerousness of the condition in the past. However, it can still lead to serious complications such as nerve damage and chronic kidney disease, especially if left unchecked.
For all these reasons, the latest study published in The Lancet it is a bad omen. To arrive at their predictions, the team used the most recent data from the Global Burden of Diseases, a long-running research project run by IHME that attempts to track the prevalence and harm caused by many health conditions and diseases.
Of there they were able to extract that there were around 529 million people living with diabetes worldwide in 2021. After adjusting for age, the current global prevalence was around 6.1%. However, by 2050, 1.31 billion people will have some form of diabetes. According to lead author Liane Ong:
The rapid growth rate of diabetes is not only alarming, but also a challenge for all healthcare systems around the world, especially since the disease also increases the risk of ischemic heart disease and stroke.
The study concludes explaining that more than 95% of these cases are expected to be type 2 diabetes. And the most significant risk factor associated with type 2 was found to be high body mass index. For all these reasons, they explain, preventing or controlling cases of diabetes now and in the future will require widespread improvements in our environment and the availability of medical care.