Thursday, November 12th, 2015 - NewsMaker

New diabetes data underline need for action on unhealthy lifestyles

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM--(Marketwired) - 415 million adults have diabetes, with an additional 318 million at risk according to new data released by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) at a World Diabetes Day event in Brussels today. IDF estimates that most countries spend 5%-20% of their healthcare budget on diabetes, a disease which can cause blindness, cardiovascular, kidney and nerve disease. With one person in ten projected to develop diabetes by 2040, IDF calls on governments to target diabetes risk factors and adopt fiscal policies on unhealthy foods; using revenues generated to improve prevention of type 2 diabetes and care for all people with diabetes and those at risk.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for roughly 90% of all diabetes cases worldwide and has strong links to unhealthy lifestyles. According to the IDF Diabetes Atlas 2015, 75% of people with diabetes live in developing countries where rapid urbanisation and related shifts toward unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles are accelerating diabetes rates.

IDF points to the Middle East and North Africa region as one of the areas worst affected. It is estimated that the number of adults with diabetes in the region will increase more than two-fold by 2040, taking the regional total from 35 million adults with diabetes to 72 million or from 9.1% to 11.4% of the adult population.

South and Central America is also expected to experience a sharp climb in diabetes rates with an estimated 65% increase in cases by 2040, resulting in one adult in eight with diabetes by 2040.

In South-East Asia, one quarter of all births are affected by diabetes in pregnancy (GDM). If left unmanaged, this can result in complications including obstructed labour and increased risk of both mother and baby developing type 2 diabetes in the longer term.

Going into the G20 meeting this weekend, IDF's CEO Dr Petra Wilson underlined, "If we cannot take steps to prevent type 2 diabetes and improve management of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, we risk not only the health of people but also economies and the livelihood of future generations. A co-operative response from the G20 governments, which has been key in reacting to the global financial crisis, is also essential to improving health outcomes for people with diabetes".

Further data released today in the IDF Diabetes Atlas estimates:

  • Total healthcare spending on diabetes in 2015 totaled USD 673 billion and will increase to USD 802 billion by 2040
  • Mortality from diabetes is greater than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined, causing one death every six seconds

Information on the new Diabetes Atlas can be found on

About IDF (@IntDiabetesFed)

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is an umbrella organisation of over 230 national diabetes associations in 170 countries and territories. It represents the interests of the growing number of people with diabetes and those at risk. The Federation has been leading the global diabetes community since 1950.

About the IDF Diabetes Atlas (#DiabetesAtlas)

The IDF Diabetes Atlas is the authoritative resource on the global burden of diabetes. First published in 2000, it is produced by IDF biennially in collaboration with experts from around the world and contains data on diabetes cases, prevalence, mortality and expenditure on the global, regional and national level. The 7th edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas is supported by AstraZeneca, Lilly Diabetes, Merck and Novo Nordisk.

About World Diabetes Day (@WDD)

World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by IDF and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2006 with the passage of United Nation Resolution 61/225.

WDD is the world's largest diabetes awareness campaign reaching a global audience of over 1 billion people in more than 160 countries. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public and political spotlight.


Contact Information

For more information and interviews, contact:
Sara Webber
Senior PR coordinator, IDF
+32 496 12 94 70 / +32 2 543 16 39

[email protected]

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