Martha Kerr

September 13, 2011

September 13, 2011(Lisbon, Portugal) — The number of people diagnosed with and dying from diabetes continues "on a relentlessly upward trajectory," with no signs of abating, according to officials from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) 47th Annual Meeting.

Data from international studies demonstrate that the number of people with diabetes in 2011 has reached 366 million. This year, 4.6 million deaths will be attributed to diabetes, with 1 person dying from diabetes every 7 seconds. Healthcare spending on diabetes has reached $465 billion.

The warning comes a week before the United Nations Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases, to be held September 19 and 20 in New York City, where world leaders will meet to discuss the global issues posed by diabetes, cancer, heart, and respiratory diseases.

IDF president Jean Claude Mbanya and EASD vice president Andrew Boulton state that "without urgent research into improved care and prevention models, we stand little chance of meeting any long-term targets that arise from the summit."

"Implementation of current knowledge will bring some improvements to [noncommunicable disease] care and prevention, but further research is essential if we are to truly defeat these diseases," the officials say, adding that increased funding for research is critical.

The findings will be published in the 5th edition of the Diabetes Atlas. The figure of 366 million people with diabetes in 2011 is up almost 30% from the 285 million cited for 2010 in the 4th edition of the Atlas.

More information on the call for action can be obtained at www.idf.org or www.easd.org.

European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) 47th Annual Meeting: Presidential address. Presented September 13, 2011.

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