New estimates predict that the number of people with diabetes will rise from 529 million in 2021 to over 1.3 billion in 2050.
No country is expected to see a decline in diabetes rates in the next 30 years.
The findings were published in The Lancet and The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journals.
Experts called the data alarming, saying that diabetes poses a significant threat to people and health systems, surpassing most diseases worldwide.
One in seven or eight people will have diabetes
“Diabetes remains one of the biggest public health threats of our time and will grow aggressively in every country, age group and gender over the next three decades and is a serious problem for health systems worldwide,” said Shivani Agarwal, MD, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. It will be a challenge,” he said.
The UN estimates that the world population will be around 9.8 billion by 2050.
That means one in seven or eight people will be living with diabetes by that time.
The study authors wrote: “Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for the majority of diabetes cases, is largely preventable and, in some cases, potentially reversible if diagnosed and managed early in the course of the disease. However, all evidence indicates that diabetes prevalence is increasing worldwide, primarily due to an increase in multifactorial obesity.”
Structural racism and “geographic inequality” experienced by minority ethnic groups has accelerated diabetes, morbidity, illness and death rates worldwide, the authors said.