In a report issued on Monday, the advocacy group estimated that 522 million people would have diabetes in the next two decades, based on things like aging and demographic changes.
The figure includes both types of diabetes. The group expects the number of cases to jump by 90 percent even in Africa, where infectious diseases have previously been the top killer. Without including the impact of increasing obesity, the International Diabetes Federation said its figures were conservative.According to the World Health Organization, there are about 346 million people worldwide with diabetes, with more than 80 percent of deaths occurring in developing countries. The agency projects diabetes deaths will double by 2030 and said the International Diabetes Federation's prediction was possible.
The deaths in developing nations from diabetes reflect the fact that treatment for the disease is less available than in the richer countries, and because the two countries with the world's largest aging populations are developing countries--China and India. They do not have a high percentage of their population that is older, but their sheer population size means that they still have large and increasing numbers of older people who are susceptible to diabetes.