Incidence of diabetes around the world
Diabetes is no longer a disease confined to wealthy developed nations. The World Health Organisation estimates that by the year 2025, 80 percent of all new cases of diabetes will occur in developing countries. Currently India has the world’s highest diabetic population; there are more than 35 million diabetics living there, and in 10 years this figure is expected to grow to 75 million. Because Indians are so genetically susceptible to type 2 diabetes, they develop it at a much younger age than Caucasians; therefore suffer a lot more from its complications.
Rapid industrialisation in India, China and other developing nations has allowed people living in cities to eat heavily processed, fast food and consequently develop the diseases common in developed nations. In some parts of Asia, Oceania, the Caribbean and the Middle East, diabetes affects between 12 and 20 percent of the adult population. Poor access to medical care in developing nations means that diabetes often goes undiagnosed, or is inadequately treated, therefore the complications and death rate are high.
Some nationalities are more prone to diabetes than others; this is especially true for Asians. Chinese, Korean and Japanese people develop type 2 diabetes at a much lower body weight than Caucasians. This means they don’t have to be very overweight to get the disease. Regardless of their weight, they are 60 percent more likely to develop diabetes than Caucasians.
Worldwide, annual diabetes deaths are approximately 3.8 million; this is equivalent to the global toll of HIV/AIDS and malaria combined!
The majority of cases of type 2 diabetes are reversible. For more information see our book Diabetes Type 2: You Can Reverse It.