<< Back to Vaad Headlines
EASD: Diabetes Estimate Now 366 Million
About 366 million people worldwide have diabetes, according to the latest figures from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), released in advance of a United Nations summit on non-communicable diseases in New York next week.
That's up from 300 million estimated in the 2009 edition of the organization's Diabetes Atlas. This year's edition will be published in mid-November.
The new edition also estimates 4.6 million deaths from the disease annually, Jean Claude Mbanya, MD, president of the IDF, said during a press briefing at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) meeting here.
"We don't want world leaders to forget diabetes, which is a tsunami of the 21st century," Mbanya said regarding the early release of the figures.
He added that the numbers are likely underestimated, since not all countries have good data on prevalence estimates. For countries with insufficient data, the researchers have to make conservative estimates based on data from neighboring countries, he said.
Mbanya urged world leaders at next week's summit, the first on this type of disease and the second on a global disease issue, to turn their attention to the diabetes epidemic, which he estimated will affect nearly 600 million people within 20 years.
He noted that overall global spending on patient care for diabetes is $465 billion.
EASD president Ulf Smith, MD, said the summit is important, given the fact that non-communicable diseases -- including diabetes, respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, and cancer -- are the major causes of death in the world.
"We are hoping that the world will identify non-communicable diseases as a major challenge to health," Smith said.
The summit was on the radar screen of attendees at this year's EASD meeting, which drew more than 18,000 participants, along with 2,145 abstracts that were whittled down to 1,294.
Top abstract contributors were the U.S. with 146, the U.K. with 139, Germany with 114, Italy with 94, and Japan with 87, according to Mark Walker, MD, chair of the meeting's scientific program committee.
Walker noted that China and Korea also made a good showing in abstracts this year, with China moving to the middle of the pack with 37 abstracts, and Korea contributing 20.
However, Walker said there are no late-breaking sessions because no data this year warranted that type of attention.
"The reality is that we've been scanning the horizon, but we believe there were none of high importance," he said during the briefing. "We didn't think there were trials of sufficient high quality."
Smith also noted that Europe has been lagging behind in diabetes research and funding for research – potentially a symptom of economic woes in European countries.
At the present funding rate, Smith said, China's research funding will surpass that of the European Union by 2014.