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Prevalence of diabetes in Saudi Arabia to almost double by 2045: Report

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More than one in ten people in Saudi Arabia are now living with diabetes and the prevalence of the disease will almost double in the Kingdom by 2045, according to a new report by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF)

The IDF report revealed that 4.274.1 million people in Saudi Arabia – which has a population of about 34.8 million according to latest statistics by the Worldometer – have diabetes, while a further 1.863.5 million people have the disease but are yet to be diagnosed.

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This figure will increase to 5.631 million by 2030 and further climb to 7.537.3 million by 2045.

Diabetes in MENA

In the Middle East and North Africa region, one in six adults (73 million) are living with diabetes, with that number expected to reach 95 million by 2030 and 136 million by 2045.

One in three residents in the region are living with diabetes but are undiagnosed.

Globally, 537 million adults are now living with diabetes, a rise of 16 percent (74 million) since the previous IDF estimates in 2019.

In 2021, the IDF estimated that diabetes was responsible for 6.7 million deaths – or one every five seconds.

The above figures were released by the Brussels-based IDF.

These new findings highlight the soaring growth in the prevalence of diabetes around the world. The new figures were taken from the upcoming 10th Edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas, which will be published on December 6.

The latest IDF Diabetes Atlas reports that the global prevalence of diabetes has reached 10.5 percent, with almost half (44.7 percent) of adults undiagnosed.

IDF projections show that by 2045, 783 million adults will be living with diabetes – or one in eight adults. This would be an increase of 46 percent, more than double the estimated population growth (20 percent) over the same period.

“As the world marks the centenary of the discovery of insulin, I wish I could report we have witnessed decisive action to turn the rising tide of diabetes. Alas I cannot,” comments IDF President, Professor Andrew Boulton.

“Diabetes is a pandemic of unprecedented magnitude. Earlier this year, the World Health Organization launched the Global Diabetes Compact and United Nations Member States adopted a Resolution that calls for urgent coordinated global action to tackle diabetes. These are significant milestones, but words must be turned into action now, and if not now, when?”

Globally, over 90 percent of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. Key contributors include urbanization, an aging population, decreasing levels of physical activity and increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity.

According to the WHO, the number of people with diabetes has nearly quadrupled since 1980.

The causes, it said, are complex, but the rise is due in part to increases in the number of people who are overweight, including an increase in obesity, and in a widespread lack of physical activity.

A healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use are ways to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes can be treated, and its consequences avoided or delayed with diet, physical activity, medication and regular screening and treatment for complications.

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