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Global diabetes rates 'rising'

Around 350 million people in the world now have diabetes, according to research.

An international study has discovered that the rates of diabetes have surged over the past three decades, as almost every region of the planet has seen diabetes increase or remain unchanged.

Researchers revealed that increased body weight and life span are two of the biggest contributing factors affecting diabetes rates, especially among women.

They also found that diet, physical activity, ethnic genetic factors and nutrition in the womb and as a newborn baby were also important.

Blood sugar data were analysed for 2.7 million people aged 25 and over across the world, with the results collated to estimate diabetes prevalence.

Results show that the number of adults with diabetes has more than doubled from 153 million in 1980 to 347 million in 2008, which is also higher than a 2009 estimate of 285 million.

Over the 30-year period the proportion of men with diabetes has climbed by 18% from 8.3% to 9.8%, while the proportion of women has seen a bigger increase, rising from 7.5% to 9.2%, which is an increase of 23%.

The findings have been published in a special online report by The Lancet medical journal.

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