This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

An Aging Population is a More Diabetic Population

One of the consequences of the global mortality decline is that disease and especially death are postponed to the older ages, where people are much more likely to be plagued (no pun intended) by degenerative diseases than by infectious diseases. Thus, it was not exactly a surprise today when, according to the Associated Press, the International Diabetic Federation in Geneva published a report projecting a huge increase in the number of cases of diabetes in the world between now and 2030.

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.

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