LONDON (AP) -- A new study says the number of adults worldwide
with diabetes has more than doubled in three decades, jumping to
some 347 million people.
The study says much of the increase is due to aging populations,
since diabetes typically hits in middle age. But rising obesity rates are also to blame.
One of the study's authors is Majid Ezzati, chair of global
environmental health at Imperial College London. He says,
"Diabetes may well become the defining issue of global health for
the next decade."
Diabetes is no longer limited to rich countries and is now a global problem.
Countries in which the numbers rose fastest include the United States, Saudi Arabia and Samoa.
And Ezzati says his figures don't reflect the generations of overweight children and young adults who have yet to reach middle age. That could create a massive burden on health systems.
Ezzati says "unlike high blood pressure and cholesterol, we still don't have great treatments for diabetes."