TUESDAY, Sept. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The worldwide diabetes
epidemic continues to worsen, with an estimated 366 million people
struggling with the disease, 4.6 million deaths due to it each
year, and annual health-care spending pegged at $465 billion, the
International Diabetes Federation announced Tuesday.
The federation released the numbers at a meeting of the European
Association for the Study of Diabetes in Lisbon, Portugal, one week
before the United Nations Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases. The
goal of the summit is to mount a global drive to combat diabetes as
well as cancer, heart and chronic respiratory diseases.
It marks just the second time that the United Nations has held a
summit on a health-related issue. The first one, in 2001, set goals
to treat the HIV/AIDS crisis.
The new diabetes numbers, which are based on international data,
illustrates the "relentlessly upwards trajectory" of the disease --
both type 1 and type 2 -- around the world, the federation
The statistics are "proof indeed that diabetes is a massive
challenge the world can no longer afford to ignore. In 2011, one
person is dying from diabetes every seven seconds," IDF President
Jean Claude Mbanya said in a federation news release.
"The clock is ticking for the world's leaders -- we expect action from their high-level meeting next week at the United Nations that will halt diabetes' relentlessly upwards trajectory."
The federation statement calls for "strengthening health systems
[that] should include developing and evaluating approaches for
building local health care capacity, as well as integrating
diabetes care and services with primary health care services,
management of chronic infectious diseases and maternal and child
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body
doesn't produce the hormone insulin, which transports sugar in the
blood to cells throughout the body for energy. Type 2 diabetes,
which is much more common than type 1 disease, is often caused by
obesity, poor eating habits and lack of exercise.
To learn more about diabetes, visit the