New York: The global findings come after a recent study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and published in the journal The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology showed that a whopping 101 million people in India suffer from diabetes, while 136 million are pre-diabetic.
More than half a billion people are living with diabetes worldwide, affecting men, women, and children of all ages in every country, and that number is projected to more than double to 1.3 billion people in the next 30 years, with every country seeing an increase, according to a study published in the journal The Lancet.
For the new study, researchers used the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2021 findings to examine the prevalence, morbidity, and mortality of diabetes for 204 countries and territories by age and sex between 1990 and 2021 and forecasted diabetes prevalence to 2050.
The calculations show the current global prevalence rate is 6.1 per cent, making diabetes one of the top 10 leading causes of death and disability.
North Africa and the Middle East had the highest death rate at 9.3 per cent, and that number is projected to jump to 16.8 per cent by 2050. The rate in Latin America and the Caribbean is projected to increase to 11.3 per cent.
Diabetes was especially evident in people 65 and older in every country and recorded a prevalence rate of more than 20 per cent for that demographic worldwide. The highest rate was 24.4 per cent for those between ages 75 and 79.
The data showed that North Africa and the Middle East had the highest rate at 39.4 per cent in this age group, while Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia had the lowest rate at 19.8 per cent.
Almost all global cases (96 per cent) are Type 2 diabetes. High body mass index (BMI) was the primary risk for Type 2 diabetes - accounting for 52.2 per cent of disability and mortality - followed by dietary risks, environmental/occupational risks, tobacco use, low physical activity, and alcohol use.
"The rapid rate at which diabetes is growing is not only alarming but also challenging for every health system in the world, especially given how the disease also increases the risk for ischemic heart disease and stroke," said lead author Dr Liane Ong, Lead Research Scientist at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington's School of Medicine.
"While the general public might believe that Type 2 diabetes is simply associated with obesity, lack of exercise, and a poor diet, preventing and controlling diabetes is quite complex due to a number of factors.
"That includes someone's genetics, as well as logistical, social, and financial barriers within a country's structural system, especially in low- and middle-income countries," Ong added.