Over 1.31 billion people could potentially be living with diabetes worldwide by 2050, finds a new study published in The Lancet, and The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.
For comparison, in 2021, 529 million people were recorded to have diabetes. According to the authors of the series titled, Global Inequity in Diabetes, the dramatic jump in numbers is a result of an increase in obesity and demographic shifts.
Key Findings of the Study:
By 2045, three in four adults with diabetes will be residing in low or middle-income countries.
This is especially alarming considering how inaccessible diabetes treatment in many of these countries is. The study points out that only 10 percent of people with diabetes living in these countries receive guideline-based diabetes care.
The series also suggested that those who belong to marginalised sections will suffer the worst consequences of diabetes.
In the USA, where the burden of type 2 diabetes in young people has nearly doubled in the past 20 years
The study spoke about the significance of equitable partnerships, building community capacity, building trust, developing and changing the ecosystem, and improving the clinical practice environment to improve the current condition.
What About India?
Another recent study conducted by Madras Diabetes Research Centre and published in the Lancet earlier this month found that at least 11.4 percent of Indians have diabetes - that's over a 100 million people.
The large-scale study involved over 113,000 participants from 31 states across the country, and was the first comprehensive study on non-communicable metabolic diseases in India.
15.3 percent of the participants were found to have prediabetes.
What Next? According to the study authors, how the health community decides to deal with diabetes in the next 20 years could potentially determine the health and life expectancy of these populations for the next 80 years.
While there is much anticipation for GLP-1 agonists and newer drug combinations that help in regulating blood sugar and reduce body weight, the solution to this growing issue is not more pills, say experts.
"A much broader and more ambitious programme is required to address centuries of injustices that have followed the well-trodden paths of power and colonisation."Study authors