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Diabetes, World’s 8th Biggest Killer, Now Affects 1 in 11 Adults

Posted by feww on April 6, 2016

Diabetes affects 9% percent of the adult population globally —WHO

Diabetes affects 9% percent of the global adult population (1 in 11 adults, aged 18 or over). Globally, about 422 million adults were living with diabetes in 2014, nearly 4 times as many as in 1980, says the World Health Organization (WHO).

Diabetes is a serious, chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin (a hormone that regulates blood sugar, or glucose), or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Diabetes is an important public health problem, one of four priority noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) targeted for action by world leaders.

Both the number of cases and the prevalence of diabetes have been steadily increasing over the past three decades.

Diabetes caused 1.5 million deaths in 2012. Higher-than-optimal blood glucose caused an additional 2.2 million deaths, by increasing the risks of cardiovascular and other diseases. Forty-three percent of these 3.7 million deaths occur before the age of 70 years.

Diabetes can lead to complications throughout the body increasing the overall risk
of premature death, says the report. “Possible complications include heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, leg amputation, vision loss and nerve damage. In pregnancy, poorly controlled diabetes increases the risk of fetal death and other complications.”

The global prevalence (age-standardized) of diabetes has almost doubled in the adult population since 1980, climbing from 4.7% to 8.5%, says the report.

10 leading causes of death

Diabetes is world’s eighth biggest killer, causing at least 1.5 million deaths each year, according to WHO.

Global report on diabetes is posted at



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