Diabetes “Defining Issue of Global Health”: Study

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The number of diabetes sufferers has more than tripled in the last 30 years to almost 350 million worldwide, according to a report published Saturday. Scientists attribute the ballooning rate of diagnosis to population growth and aging—the disease usually strikes in middle age—as well as to obesity. The trend is no longer limited to wealthy countries, either, and has become a problem particularly in Pacific Island nations. "[Diabetes] is set to become the single largest burden on world health care systems," one of the study's authors said, according to the Observer. The disease, if not properly managed, can cause nerve damage and lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputations.

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