Prevalence of Diabetes Varies Considerably in Developing Countries
A new study by Drexel University’s School of Public Health found that the rates of diabetes varied considerably among developing nations across the world. The study was overseen by Dr. Longjian Liu and will appear in a future edition of Diabetic Medicine.
About four out of every five people suffering from diabetes live in developing countries. However, the rates among different countries varied considerably between countries. Liu’s study found that many nations had much different standards of medical care and means of treating diabetes.
Rate of Untreated Diabetes?
Liu also found that about 10% of all diabetic cases go untreated throughout the world. This is a growing concern as diabetes is one of the most common diseases around the world. Diabetes is the fourth of fifth leading cause of deaths in first world nations and is becoming a growing concern in developing nations.
Many researchers have researched the rates of diabetes in different nations using different standards of measurement. Liu and his team evaluated data from the World Health Organization’s World Health Survey, which used the same method for collecting data in every nation it researched.
Liu’s study evaluated more than 215,000 participants from nearly 50 countries in a variety of regions throughout the world. The data was surprisingly varied. Liu and his colleagues found that the prevalence of diabetes in Mauritius was nearly 60 times greater than Mali.
Life Expectancy and Diabetes?
Life expectancy appears to have a strong correlation to diabetes. In nations like Mali, the life expectancy rate is particularly low. Therefore, it stands to reason that the rate of diabetes would be lower since people would die from infectious diseases before having a chance to develop diabetes.
Additionally, the data found that people who were either overweight or underweight were at the greatest risk of suffering from diabetes. Although overweight patients were most likely to develop diabetes, underweight citizens were most likely to go untreated.
Liu and his colleagues stated that it is important that countries do more to identify and treat diabetes, because of the role it plays in other health problems such as heart disease, kidney failures and blindness. These problems continue to reduce the average life span and create a number of health costs. This epidemic is reaching every nation and region of the world and will continue to escalate unless the world does more to treat it.