BRUSSELS, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- A report on diabetes in the European Union finds that rates have gone up sharply with 31 million people now diagnosed with the disease.
The International Diabetes Federation called on the EU to adopt stricter prevention measures, the EU Observer reported.
"Today Europe finds itself in the midst of a diabetes epidemic," Dr. Michael Hall said.
About 8.6 percent of adult Europeans suffered from diabetes in 2006, the report said. Britain had the lowest rate, about 4 percent, while Germany was highest at 11.8 percent. Thirteen countries, mostly in Eastern Europe, had rates over 9 percent.
The study found that only 13 of the 27 member states have national plans for diabetes prevention. It also found that in most countries, at least 10 percent of spending on health care goes to treat diabetes.
Adult onset diabetes has become a major problem worldwide. Once someone becomes sick, the disease can be controlled with diet, exercise and drug therapy but cannot be cured.