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World Health Organization report: Diabetes cases have quadrupled since 1980

In an accompanying editorial, Etienne Krug from the WHO stated that these results "sound the alarm for large-scale, effective action to reduce the health and economic impact of diabetes".

The availability of diabetes medicines and technology such as insulin can help save lives but access is limited particularly to patients in poor countries. "But change greatly depends on governments doing more, including by implementing global commitments to address diabetes and other NCDs".

The prevalence of the disease has also doubled, rising from 4.7 to 8.5 percent of the adult population, with the biggest rises taking place in in low to middle-income countries over the past decade.

When it comes to diabetes risk factors, about 70 percent of Americans are overweight, 35 percent are obese and 35 percent are physically inactive, according to the World Health Organization report. In 2012, an estimated 1.5 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes and another 2.2 million deaths were attributable to high blood glucose.

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The Secretary-General also pointed out that "the burden of diabetes is not equally shared, within or between countries". In presence of poverty, there are more diseases and premature deaths. That means more than 9 percent of the USA population has diabetes, according to the CDC.

"Older, cheaper insulins may not be as good, but they may only be 10% worse", said Jonathan Shaw, a diabetes consultant at the Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute in Melbourne. "But if you can't, it's a lot better than nothing". "We're very concerned about the rates among the young adults due to their increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which sets them on this path for some serious complications in the future".

Latest figures show that the number of adults with diabetes had nearly quadrupled in 2014 to 422 million from 108 million in 1980. A recent report by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has estimated that by 2040 this will rise to 642 million. Such is the alarming proportion that the disease is touching.

The first Global Report on Diabetes from WHO is being launched this week in Geneva and Mexico City as part of the 2016 World Health Day campaign, which is dedicated to diabetes.

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