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Diabetes numbers quadruple worldwide

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The number of people with diabetes around the globe has increased four-fold since 1980, according to new research. The comprehensive study, published in The Lancet, found that, after adjusting for the influence of aging, the proportion of men with diabetes has more than doubled—from 4.3 percent in 1980 to 9 percent in 2014. Diabetes among women during the same period rose from 5 percent to 7.9 percent. With the growth in the size of populations worldwide, this means that the absolute number of people with diabetes has almost quadrupled to 422 million adults, up from 108 million in 1980.

Emory researchers collaborated with the study leaders at Imperial College London, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and the World Health Organization to compile data from 751 surveys and 4.4 million adults.

“The growth and sheer number of people affected has major implications for health care, health expenditures, and health systems worldwide,” says Mohammed Ali, associate professor at Emory’s Global Diabetes Research Center and one of the study’s authors. “Diabetes is a chronic condition requiring lifelong care, attention to lifestyle choices, and adherence to medications, and these are challenging and costly to maintain.”

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