Diabetes: The Worldwide Epidemic


A highlight of new statistics on diabetes prevalence from The World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO report was released in conjunction with World Health Day on April 7, 2016.

According to WHO, the incidence of diabetes has nearly quadrupled over the last three decades: in 1980 there were 108 million people with diabetes worldwide, increasing to 422 million in 2014.

  • According to the report: “[The rise] reflects an increase in associated risk factors such as being overweight or obese,”. It also notes the strong connection to a lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating habits.
  • In the United States, 29.1 million Americans have diabetes, including 8.1 million who are have not been diagnosed. This means that nearly 1 out of 10 Americans (9.3%) have diabetes. For seniors, age 65 and over, 25.9% have diabetes. There are 1.4 million new cases of diabetes diagnosed each year.
  • Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States.
  • The economic cost of diabetes in the United States is $245 billion annually, including $176 billion for direct medical costs and $69 billion in reduced productivity.

Research scientists at the UC Irvine Diabetes Center are studying obesity and also the differences between “good fat” and “bad fat.”

According to Dr. Wang
Diabetes and the obesity epidemic continue to expand beyond control. Better understanding of the mechanisms of diabetes and obesity will provide long-term solutions.

Download the complete GLOBAL REPORT ON DIABETES from WHO.

Click here for the WHO press release highlighting their call to action to tackle diabetes.

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