Millions of People Worldwide Suffer from Diabetes
In 2000, according to the World Health Organization, at least 171 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes, or 2.8% of the population. Its incidence is increasing rapidly, and it is estimated that by 2030, this number will almost double. Diabetes mellitus occurs throughout the world, but is more common (especially type 2) in the more developed countries. The greatest increase in prevalence is, however, expected to occur in Asia and Africa, where most patients will probably be found by 2030. The increase in incidence of diabetes in developing countries follows the trend of urbanization and lifestyle changes, perhaps most importantly a “Western-style” diet. This has suggested an environmental (i.e., dietary) effect, but there is little understanding of the mechanisms at present.
For at least 20 years, diabetes rates in North America have been increasing substantially. In 2008 there were about 24 million people with diabetes in the United States alone, from those 5.7 million people remain undiagnosed.
The CDC has termed the change an epidemic. The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse estimates that diabetes costs $132 billion in the United States alone every year
According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 18.3% (8.6 million) of Americans age 60 and older have diabetes. Diabetes mellitus prevalence increases with age, and the numbers of older persons with diabetes are expected to grow as the elderly population increases in number.