ADA: Diabetes Prevalence, Glycemia Levels Rising Globally

In high-income subregions, North America has largest increase in mean fasting plasma glucose

MONDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- There has been a global increase in the prevalence of diabetes, correlating with a global increase in age-standardized mean fasting plasma glucose (FPG), according to a review published online June 25 in The Lancet to coincide with the American Diabetes Association's 71st Scientific Sessions, held from June 24 to 28 in San Diego.

Goodarz Danaei, M.D., from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues reviewed available health examination surveys and epidemiological studies (370 country-years and 2.7 million participants) to investigate the trends and their uncertainties in mean FPG and diabetes prevalence in adults aged 25 years and older in 199 countries and territories. The different glycemic metrics were systematically converted. Mean FPG and its uncertainty by age, country, and year were estimated for each gender.

The investigators found that the number of diabetes cases increased from 153 million in 1980 to 347 million in 2008. The global age-standardized mean FPG was 5.50 mmol/L for men and 5.42 mmol/L for women in 2008, having increased by 0.07 mmol/L and 0.09 mmol/L per decade, respectively. From 1980 to 2008, the age standardized diabetes prevalence increased from 8.3 to 9.8 percent in men and from 7.5 to 9.2 percent in women. The mean FPG and diabetes prevalence were high in South Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Central Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East, with the highest rise in Oceania. There was almost no change seen in the mean FPG in East and Southeast Asia and Central and Eastern Europe. In high-income subregions, the highest and lowest rise in mean FPG was in North America and Western Europe, respectively.

"Glycemia and diabetes are rising globally, driven both by population growth and ageing and by increasing age-specific prevalences," the authors write.

Two of the study authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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