Future Global Diabetes Predictions Likely Too Low

Current diabetes prevalence in Ontario, Canada, already exceeds estimates

FRIDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of diabetes in Ontario, Canada rose 69 percent between 1995 and 2005, already exceeding the World Health Organization's predicted 39 percent rise in global diabetes prevalence from 2000 to 2030, according to the results of a study published in the March 3 issue of The Lancet. The findings suggest that the worldwide rise in diabetes may be greater than previously thought.

Lorraine L. Lipscombe, M.D., and Janet E. Hux, M.D., from the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada, examined diabetes trends in Ontario using data on prevalence, mortality and incidence in adults at least 20 years old.

The researchers found that the age- and sex-adjusted diabetes prevalence increased by 69 percent (from 5.2 to 8.8 percent of the population) between 1995 and 2005. The rate of increase was highest among those aged 20 to 49 years, even though the prevalence was still highest in those over 50 years old. The incidence of diabetes increased by 31 percent between 1997 and 2003, and adjusted diabetes mortality fell by 25 percent between 1995 and 2005.

"The increasing incidence observed in ethnic minorities and the young, coupled with decreasing mortality rates and extended life expectancy, means that prevention is the best method of reducing the global burden of diabetes," according to the journal's editors. "A one-size-fits-all approach is not optimal for the treatment of a disease that affects subpopulations differently."

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