The Lancet medical journal has released estimates that suggest the number of people with diabetes will more than double by 2050 due to global aging and rising body weight, putting millions more people at risk of dangerous disorders.
Currently, 529 million people worldwide have diabetes, but this is expected to rise to 1.3 billion in 2050, with the majority having Type 2 diabetes, which is often linked to being overweight. Diabetes affects one in ten adults globally and caused 6.7 million deaths in 2021.
The disease has a greater impact on people in low and middle-income countries, where fewer than 10% of those affected receive proper care.
Although weight loss can prevent the disease in many cases, effective weight-loss programs are hard to implement at a large scale. Diabetes is treatable with a variety of effective drugs, but many health-care systems are not prepared to intervene early enough.
Addressing racism and economic inequality will be important for controlling diabetes, according to a group of researchers from the US, Africa, India, and Australia.