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370 Million People Worldwide Suffer from Diabetes

370 Million People Worldwide Suffer from DiabetesAugust 1, 2030 - New statistics suggest that more than 370 million people worldwide today suffer from diabetes. The numbers have doubled over the last 30 years. Much of this increase has taken place in developed countries, due to ageing, obesity, unhealthy diets, population growth and sedentary lifestyles.

The direct costs for treating diabetes will only for the US this year be about US$ 506 billion. Although the number of people dying directly from diabetes is approximately 1.5 million worldwide, the number of deaths every year attributable to complications of diabetes is more than 8 million.

Even though improvements have been made in the work for finding a permanent cure for diabetes, the best cure for type-2 diabetes (which results from the body's inability to respond properly to the action of insulin produced by the pancreas) which accounts for about 90% of the cases, is still to exercise and keep a healthy diet. A 30 minute walk each day reduces the incidence of diabetes.


Argument: WHO estimates that 370 million people worldwide will suffer from diabetes in 2030, compared to 177 million in 2000. The figure US$ 506 billion in direct costs for the US to treat diabetes is based on today's cost, the estimated inflation and increase in patients to treat. No eventual cure for diabetes until 2030 is considered. Today the most permanent method of treating diabetes is a pancreas transplant which gives the patient a chance to become independent of insulin injections.

Questions: The most promising cure for diabetes is based on stem cell research. How much of the estimated cost for diabetes in 2030 would be worth investing today to get closer to a cure and what would be the return on that investment? Since physical activity reduces the incidence of diabetes, how much is worth investing in people being more active, already from a young age and to keep them active on a regular basis?

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