The global cost of diabetes is now 825 billion dollars per year, according to the largest ever study of diabetes levels across the world.
The research, which was led by scientists from Imperial College London, and involved Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the World Health Organization, and nearly 500 researchers across the globe, incorporated data from 4.4 million adults in most of the world’s countries. The research team has also created interactive maps and other visuals that show the data for each country, and how they compare to each other.
The study, published in the journal The Lancet, compared diabetes levels among adult men and women from 1980 to 2014. Diabetes results in a person being unable to regulate levels of sugar in their blood, and increases the risk of heart and kidney disease, vision loss, and amputations.
The team adjusted their results to account for diabetes becoming more common as a person ages and for some countries having older populations. Using age-adjusted figures, they found that in the last 35 years, global diabetes among men has more than doubled—from 4.3% in 1980 to 9% in 2014—after adjusting for the effect of aging. Meanwhile diabetes among women has risen from 5% in 1980 to 7.9% in 2014. This rise translates as 422 million adults in the world with diabetes in 2014—which has nearly quadrupled since 1980 (108 million).
The study follows previous work by the same Wellcome Trust-funded team that studied global obesity levels and published in The Lancet last week.