The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has announced new figures showing that the number of people living with diabetes in Lebanon is 12.2% of adults between 20 and 79 years old, translating into 464,200 individuals in this age bracket. It is thought that up to 41.17% of them remain undiagnosed and are therefore untreated, which can potentially cause complications such as heart attacks, blindness, kidney failure, and loss of limbs.
In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the number of people living with diabetes has increased to 9.1% of 20-79 year old adults. The revised estimate is drawn from the dataset of the IDF Briefing Atlas, 7th Edition, which estimates that the number of people affected by the disease in the MENA region will increase to 72.1 million by 2040.
“As in previous years, these IDF figures reflect the unfortunate fact that the number of people living with diabetes continues to grow dramatically,” said Stathis Psimmenos, Novo Nordisk Lebanon General Manager. “Diabetes does not discriminate and affects people throughout our society and their families. This is why healthcare professionals, patient associations, health authorities, and pharmaceutical companies specialized in diabetes need to work collaboratively towards its prevention, early diagnosis, and improved management.”
While diabetes care has improved greatly in recent decades, there are still millions of people dying from the disease and its complications annually – five million worldwide in 2015 according to the IDF. In Lebanon, 5,724 people will die due to diabetes this year.
Beyond the human burden of disease and the impact on the individual and their family, diabetes is becoming a growing financial burden for society.
According to new global estimates by the IDF, diabetes will cost at least 673 billion US dollars in healthcare expenditure this year – and the mean diabetes related expenditure per person with diabetes in Lebanon is US$870, most of which is spent on hospitalization and complications treatment.
Although steps have been taken to move diabetes up the global healthcare agenda, the IDF still estimates that almost one in two (46.5%) adults with diabetes is undiagnosed.
Key international figures from the IDF Diabetes Atlas, 7th Edition:
• One in 11 adults has diabetes (415 million)
• One in two (46.5%) adults with diabetes is undiagnosed
• 12% of global health expenditure is spent on diabetes (673 billion US Dollars)
• One in seven births is affected by gestational diabetes
• Three-quarters (75%) of people with diabetes live in low- and middle-income countries
• 542,000 children have type 1 diabetes
• Every six seconds a person dies from diabetes (5.0 million deaths)