‘Largest epidemic in human history’

The latest edition of the International Diabetes Federation’s Diabetes Atlas, published today on World Diabetes Day, estimated that diabetes kills one person every six seconds and it will cause the deaths of 5.1 million people this year. 

Professor Paul Zimmet, director emeritus of the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, said the Diabetes Atlas group predicted 20 years ago that there would be 200 million people in the world with diabetes, but the predicted numbers for 2035 are almost double.

“Diabetes is likely to be the biggest health problem, the largest epidemic in human history,” he said.

The data showed that the majority of the 382 million people with diabetes today are aged between 40 and 59 and 80% of them live in low- and middle-income countries.

Professor Jonathan Shaw, associate director of Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, said