LISBON, Portugal, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Worldwide, the number of people with diabetes reached about 366 million this year, the International Diabetes Federation announced at a meeting in Lisbon.
Professor Jean Claude Mbanya of the International Diabetes Federation said at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes Tuesday that spending on diabetes has reached $465 billion.
"International Diabetes Federation's latest Diabetes Atlas data are proof indeed that diabetes is a massive challenge the world can no longer afford to ignore," Mbanya said.
"In 2011, one person is dying from diabetes every 7 seconds. The clock is ticking for the world's leaders -- we expect action from their high-level meeting next week at the United Nations that will halt diabetes' relentlessly upwards trajectory."
The U.N. Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases, scheduled for next week, is expected to address diabetes as well as cancer, heart and chronic respiratory diseases.
The global diabetes community is expecting international political leaders to sign-up to commitments, concrete actions and measurable targets to tackle non-communicable diseases as they did at the ground-breaking, high-level meeting on HIV/AIDS in 2001.
"The socioeconomic impact of not just diabetes, but all non-communicable diseases, is staggering," Andrew Boulton, vice president of European Association for the Study of Diabetes, says. "The European Association for the Study of Diabetes fully supports the International Diabetes Federation and echoes the call of Mbanya's for increased funds for medical research."
The Diabetes Atlas was made possible from the support of Lilly Diabetes, Merck and Co. Inc., Novo Nordisk A/S and Sanofi-aventis.