Diabetes in numbers: the worrying statistics
OVER THE PAST thousand years of medical progress, the human race has seen a slow but steady increase in human longevity. Although the occasional plague, famine or war will lead to a mortality peak in a generation, by and large each new wave of humanity is healthier than the last. But it seems that this encouraging trend is about to change.
A study published in 2015 revealed that middle-aged white Americans are dying at younger ages than their parents for the first time in decades, and as with all trends, where the US leads, the UK and Europe are certain to follow soon after. In fact, there are many similar studies suggesting that today’s children may go on to lead shorter lives than their parents.
To explain these trends, experts have looked at two main factors – firstly “deaths of despair” such as opioid overdoses, suicides and complications from long-term alcohol abuse. In 2015, 52 000 Americans died of drug overdoses alone, more than those who died per annum of HIV/AIDS during the epidemic’s peak years in the mid 90s. Almost half of these deaths were due to opioid-based drugs, such as heroin or the much stronger synthetic opioid fentanyl. Secondly, a more recent study has linked diabetes to the increase in American mortality. Whilst in 1958 only 0.93 per cent of the US population was diagnosed diabetic, now 7.02 per cent (nearly 30 million people) of the country live with the disease. The number has grown three-fold since the early 1990s, rising with the ever-increasing obesity rates.
Approximately 368 million people on Earth were living with the disease in 201 Continue reading