Diabetes Will Strike One in 10 Adults by 2030, IDF Says

Diabetes Will Strike One in Ten Adults by 2030, IDF Report
A patient injects herself with an insulin pen in Munich. Photographer: Guido Krzikowski/Bloomberg

Diabetes will strike one in 10 adults by 2030, hampering economic growth in the world’s fastest-growing economies as it kills people in their most productive years, according to a report.

About 552 million people may have diabetes by 2030, compared with about 366 million now, if nothing is done to curb the epidemic, the International Diabetes Federation said in a report today. As many as 183 million people have the disease and don’t know it, the Brussels-based federation said.

High-calorie diets and sedentary lifestyles are fanning the spread of type 2 diabetes in nations such as China, which with 90 million diabetics has more people with the condition than any other. People between 40 and 59 have the greatest proportion of cases, according to the report.

“In every country and in every community worldwide, we are losing the battle against this cruel and deadly disease,” Jean Claude Mbanya, the federation’s president, said in a statement. The group represents more than 200 national diabetes associations around the world.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for at least 90 percent of all cases of the disease, the federation says on its website. Type 1, or juvenile-onset, diabetes typically occurs earlier in life and results from the body’s immune system attacking cells that produce insulin, the group said.

$47 Trillion

Productivity losses and medical treatment for non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease will reach $47 trillion through 2030, the World Economic Forum and Harvard University wrote in a study published in September.

Sanofi, Novo Nordisk A/S and Eli Lilly & Co. are among makers of drugs to treat diabetes. Sales of such therapies grew 12 percent last year to $34 billion, making them the fourth-biggest therapeutic class by sales worldwide, behind medicines for cancer, cholesterol, and breathing disorders, according to market researcher IMS Health.

The numbers help explain why diabetes care will stay the main business for Bagsvaerd, Denmark-based Novo Nordisk, the company’s chief executive officer, Lars Rebien Soerensen, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “InBusiness With Margaret Brennan” today.

“We see first-hand the devastating impacts of having diabetes,” including premature deaths, Soerensen said. “We certainly hope that we could be successful eventually in curing diabetes. That’s our hope, that’s our mandate.”

Novo Nordisk, the world’s biggest producer of insulin, received about 75 percent of sales last year from diabetes products, according to Bloomberg data.

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