A new WHO report, published in The Lancet, found that an estimated 422 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes, a condition that significantly increases risk for heart attack and stroke. That’s quadruple what it was in 1980, when only 180 million had the disease.
Today, almost eight percent of women have diabetes. If this trend continues, by 2025 the number of diabetic adults will surpass 700 million globally. By then, 12.8 percent of men and 10.4 percent of women are expected to have diabetes.
The report didn’t distinguish between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, though it noted that the latter—which is connected to lifestyle and diet choices—is far more common. Type 1 diabetes, on the other hand, is generally diagnosed in young children (people with this form of the disease don’t produce enough insulin).
This disease is growing most rapidly in lower- and middle-income countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, where getting diagnosed and treated is much harder than it is in the U.S. Overall, the report says the rise reflects “an increase in associated risk factors such as being overweight or obese.” Most notably, a lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating habits play a part.
In short: Sticking to a healthy diet and hitting the gym can help protect you from this epidemic, no matter where you live.
Source: Women’s Health mags