Obesity fuels fears of faster diabetes rise

By Tan Ee Lyn

CHENNAI, India (Reuters) - The prevalence of diabetes worldwide will far outstrip even the sharp increase currently projected unless rising trends of obesity are controlled, health experts said on Saturday.

Adult-onset diabetes has been linked to risk factors like aging, an inactive lifestyle, unhealthy diets, smoking, alcohol and obesity. The silent, chronic disease damages the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves and was responsible for 3.8 million deaths worldwide in 2007.

The International Diabetes Foundation estimates a current prevalence of 246 million diabetes cases worldwide and projects it will hit 380 million by 2025, but experts say these figures may well be an underestimate.

“The projections are conservative because they take into account only aging and urbanization but not obesity, which if unarrested, will lead to more cases,” Gojka Roglic of the World Health Organization’s diabetes program told a regional diabetes conference in Chennai, southern India.

Roglic said not a single country in the world had shown any signs of a plateau for obesity.

“It’s the responsibility of governments to enable populations to create the conditions where (healthy) lifestyle is an easy choice rather than something that’s very difficult to achieve,” Roglic told Reuters.

“If you don’t have a park to walk in, if the traffic is too dangerous, then people won’t be encouraged to walk or ride bicycles. Or if there is crime and someone will kill you for your bike, then you won’t be encouraged to cycle.”


Anthony Harries, senior adviser with the London-based International Union Against Tuberculosis (TB) and Lung Diseases, warned of the increased risks of developing active tuberculosis that come with diabetes.

“It was recognized even in ancient Roman times that people with urine that was sweet had increased risk of tuberculosis,” he told the conference, adding that a diabetic was three times more likely to develop active TB than a non-diabetic.

One in every three people in the world is infected with TB bacilli. But not everyone who is infected with TB gets sick. Chances of developing active TB rise when one’s immune system is weak, for example when compromised by a chronic illness.

India carries the highest diabetes burden in the world, with 41 million cases in 2007, projected to hit 70 million by 2025.

The problem is worsening in rural India, which now has a prevalence of 9.2 percent among people aged 20 years and older, up from 2.2 percent in 1983. The rate in urban areas is 18.6 percent, compared with 11.2 percent in 1998.

Apart from a more sedentary lifestyle, experts say the propensity for diabetes among Indians may also be due to a switch, linked to rising affluence, to eating polished rice which has much more sugar than crude, unpolished rice.

Genetics may also play a part.  Continued…


Related Posts:

By Tan Ee Lyn CHENNAI, India (Reuters) - India’s health minister on Saturday said he wants to push all school-going children to learn yoga, in the hope that it can reduce the prevalence of diseases such as diabetes and hypertension in years to come. Last week, Malaysia’s National Fatwa Council, comprising Islamic scholars, sparked widespread protests when

Full Post: India minister wants all school kids to learn yoga

By Tan Ee Lyn CHENNAI, India (Reuters) - Up to 15 percent of pregnant women in India are developing diabetes, raising the risk of their children developing the disease, said experts on Sunday, who blamed factors including malnutrition. Experts at a diabetes summit in Chennai in southern India said genetics, a sedentary lifestyle, as well as women

Full Post: Pregnant Indians risk passing diabetes to babies

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The hardest-to-treat form of drug-resistant tuberculosis is a growing threat in many parts of the world, but remains quite rare in the United States, U.S. government health researchers said on Tuesday. From 1993 through 2007, there were 83 cases of extensively drug-resistant TB, or XDR-TB, reported in the United States, U.S.

Full Post: Hardest-to-treat form of TB rare in U.S.: study

By C. Vidya Shankar, MD CHENNAI, India (Reuters Health) - HIV-positive infants are over 20 times more likely to develop tuberculosis than their HIV-negative counterparts, researchers from South Africa report in the current issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases. “The current status of TB amongst HIV-infected children is still very high,” Dr. Anneke Hesseling from Cape Town told

Full Post: Dual HIV/TB infection common in S. African infants

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Cancer is on pace to supplant heart disease as the No. 1 cause of death worldwide in 2010, with a growing burden in poor countries thanks to more cigarette smoking and other factors, global health experts said on Tuesday. Globally, an estimated 12.4 million people will be diagnosed with some form

Full Post: Cancer to pass heart disease as No. 1 killer

Site Navigation

Most Read



  • kinwrite.com@gmail.com