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War Against Diabetes is Failing, Cases Continue to Soar

Update Date: Nov 14, 2013 07:48 PM EST

Diabetes is a chronic health condition that can be manageable if people are diligent about taking their medications, eating right and checking their blood-glucose levels frequently. Once diabetes is left untreated, however, it could lead to other serious health conditions. As a part of World Diabetes Day, which is today, November 14, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) released the sixth edition of the Diabetes Atlas. This year's numbers revealed that diabetes is still a growing problem throughout the world and needs to be controlled and maintained more efficiently.

"Diabetes is a disease of development. The misconception that diabetes is 'a disease of the wealthy' is still held, to the detriment of desperately needed funding to combat the pandemic. In coming years we have much to do in making the case for those who have diabetes now and will have in the future," Michael Hirst, president of the IDF, according to a statement reported by CBS News.

At the end of 2013, the total number of people afflicted with diabetes is estimated to be 382 million worldwide. Based on the report, by 2035, one in every 10 people throughout the world could be diagnosed with diabetes, which would mean that 592 million people in the world would have this chronic health condition. This number is more than doubled the number four years ago, which was around 285 million. The report also stated that the majority of people with diabetes are from low- and middle-income countries. The patients generally are around 40 to 59-years-old. The researchers estimated that for every six seconds, a person dies from diabetes, which amounts to around 5.1 million deaths per year.

"We haven't seen any kind of stabilizing, any kind of reversal," Leonor Guariguata, an epidemiologist and project coordinator for IDF's Diabetes Atlas, said to Businessweek. "Diabetes continues to be a very big problem and is increasing even beyond previous projections."

When it comes to the U.S., the report found that by the end of 2013, 9.2 percent of the population, which is 24.4 million people, would become diabetic. The rate in 2011 was 8.3 percent. There will also be an estimated 6.8 million people with the condition but have not been diagnosed. In this year alone, around 192,725 people will die. By 2035, the percentage of people with diabetes will increase to 11.6, which is equivalent to 29.7 million Americans.

These growing numbers worldwide continue to stress the important of educating people about preventative measures, such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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