‘Hundreds of millions of people live with diabetes today. Many of them do not know it, and many of those who do lack access to the necessary medicines or information’, says a Comment in this week’s Lancet [1].

The comment refers to a major study published in the same issue on Worldwide trends in diabetes since 1980 [2], which concludes: ‘Since 1980, age-standardised diabetes prevalence in adults has increased, or at best remained unchanged, in every country. Together with population growth and ageing, this rise has led to a near quadrupling of the number of adults with diabetes worldwide.’

The authors also note:

‘Diabetes and its macrovascular and microvascular complications account for more than 2 million deaths every year, and are the seventh leading cause of disability worldwide.’

‘Low-income and middle-income countries, including Indonesia, Pakistan, Mexico, and Egypt, replaced European countries, including Germany, Ukraine, Italy, and the UK, on the list of the top ten countries with most adults with diabetes’

An accompanying editorial says: ‘Immediate action is needed to avert this escalating health disaster.’ The full text of all articles is freely accessible.

1. Trends in diabetes: sounding the alarm

Krug, Etienne G

The Lancet , Volume 387 , Issue 10027 , 1485 – 1486


2. Worldwide trends in diabetes since 1980: a pooled analysis of 751 population-based studies with 4·4 million participants

The Lancet , Volume 387, Issue 10027 , 1513 – 1530


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