The number of adults with diabetes worldwide has more than doubled since 1980 to 347 million, a far larger number than previously thought and one that suggests costs of treating the disease will also balloon.
In a study published in the The Lancet journal, an international team of researchers working with The World Health Organization found that rates of diabetes have either risen or at best remained the same in virtually all parts of the world in the past 30 years.
The estimated number of diabetics is markedly higher than a previous projections that put the number at 285 million worldwide. This study found that of the 347 million people with diabetes, 138 million live in China and India and another 36 million in the United States and Russia.
The most common type of diabetes, Type 2, is strongly associated with obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.
"Diabetes is becoming more common almost everywhere in the world," said Majid Ezzati, from Britain's Imperial College London, who led the study along with Goodarz Danaei from the Harvard School of Public Health in the United States.
"Unless we develop better programs for detecting people with elevated blood sugar and helping them to improve their diet and physical activity and control their weight, diabetes will inevitably continue to impose a major burden on health systems around the world," Danaei added in a joint statement.
People with diabetes have inadequate blood sugar control, which can lead to serious complications like heart disease and stroke, damage to the kidneys or nerves, and to blindness.
Experts say high blood glucose and diabetes cause around 3 million deaths globally each year, a number that will continue to rise as the number of people affected increases.
Dozens of diabetes treatments, both pills and injections, are on the market. Global sales of the medicines totaled $35 billion last year and could rise to as much as $48 billion by 2015, according to drug research firm IMS Health.
New research being presented this weekend at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association in San Diego will focus on experimental drugs and ways to combine classes of medicines to better control blood sugar.
"This is a chronic, progressive condition," said Dennis Urbaniak, vice president of Sanofi's diabetes division. "What we are most worried about is the number of people out there with diabetes that is not optimally controlled."
For the Lancet study, the largest of its kind for diabetes, researchers analyzed fasting plasma glucose (FPG) data from 2.7 million participants aged 25 and over across the world, and then used advanced statistical methods to estimate prevalence.
They found that between 1980 and 2008, the number of adults with the disease rose from 153 million to 347 million. Seventy percent of the rise was due to population growth and aging, with the other 30 percent due to higher prevalence, they said.
The proportion of adults with diabetes rose to 9.8 percent of men and 9.2 percent of women in 2008, compared with 8.3 percent of men and 7.5 percent of women in 1980.
Diabetes has taken off most dramatically in Pacific Island nations, which now have the highest diabetes levels in the world, the study found. In the Marshall Islands, a third of all women and a quarter of all men have diabetes.
Among wealthy countries, the rise in diabetes was highest in North America and relatively small in Western Europe. Diabetes and glucose levels were highest in United States, Greenland, Malta, New Zealand and Spain, and lowest in the Netherlands, Austria and France.
The region with the lowest glucose levels was sub-Saharan Africa, followed by east and southeast Asia.
The researchers found that on average the rate of tuberculosis (TB) in big cities was twice the rate of the national TB incidence
Residual sour gas was then burnt in flares at Kashagan's processing plants, polluting the environment, the ministry said in a statement.
Researchers from Britain and the United States found what they describe as the first hard evidence that malaria creeps to higher elevations during warmer years
The CPC's latest outlook brings the forecaster in line with other global meteorologists that have raised their outlook for El Nino's potential return this year.
The child is the second case, following an earlier instance in Mississippi, in which doctors may have brought HIV in a newborn into remission by administering antiretroviral drugs in the first hours of life.
"We will resolutely declare war against pollution as we declared war against poverty," PM Li told the almost 3,000 delegates to the country's largely rubber-stamp legislature in a wide-ranging address carried live on state television.
The research, which lends weight to campaigns for smoking to be banned in private cars and homes, found passive smoking leads to a thickening of children's artery walls, adding some 3.3 years to the age of blood vessels by adulthood.
Professor Jean-Michel Claverie, from the National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS) at the University of Aix-Marseille in France, said "this is the first time we've seen a virus that's still infectious after this length of time."
The 76-year-old man died on Sunday, 75 days after the operation, the Georges Pompidou European Hospital in Paris said in a statement, adding that the cause of his death could not be known for sure at this stage.
Pacific islanders were eating fewer coconuts as a source of fat and many people in Southeast Asia were getting fewer calories from rice
The researchers had been able to clone the antibodies and would test if they were able to give immunity to a person without the virus
The condition of the baby with kidney disease returns to normal after doctors in the Turkish city of Konya decide against abortion to begin treatment in the womb
Australia's conservative government approved plans to dredge 3 million cubic metres of sand for the port expansion
Frequent nightmares were very common for one in ten children, especially between the ages of three and seven, but effects resulting from nightmares were much more severe in 12-year-olds.
The JAMA Psychiatry suggested that tihis was in connection to sperm mutations in men who become fathers relatively late in life, after comparing children of 24-year-old fathers and 45-year-old fathers.
Millions of people around the world go to bed hungry every night, and yet millions of tons of food end up in trash cans or spoiled on the way to market.