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Global cost of diabetes set to double by 2030

The global cost of diabetes is set to almost double to $2.5 trillion by 2030 finds research from King’s College London. It suggests that even if countries meet internationally set targets, the global economic burden from the disease will still increase by 88%.

Diabetes is a major global health threat and the number of cases is rapidly increasing. Recent estimates suggest that the number of people with diabetes across the world will increase from 415million in 2015 to 642million by 2040.

Researchers from King’s, in collaboration with colleagues from The University of Gottingen, have now estimated future economic burden of the disease. This is calculated by looking at costs from medical care and costs incurred through loss of productivity and earnings in 180 countries across the world.

They did this by assuming three different scenarios. First the prevalence and death rate associated with diabetes increasing in line with urbanisation and an ageing population, secondly the (even greater) increase if previous trends continue, and thirdly if global targets set to diabetes burden are achieved.

The team found that, under all three scenarios, the economic cost of diabetes is predicted to increase significantly by 2030.

They also found that a large economic burden isn’t limited to high-income countries in the West but is widely dispersed throughout the world.

Justine Davies, Centre for Global Health, who co-led the paper, says: ‘It is imperative that actions are taken to reduce some of the risk factors for diabetes, for instance obesity and physical inactivity, to ensure costs do not rise further.

‘Policy makers also need to take urgent steps to prepare health and social security systems to mitigate the effects of diabetes.’

Global Economic Burden of Diabetes in Adults: Projections From 2015 to 2030 (Diabetes Care 2018 Feb;