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Diabetes cases to grow if obesity trends persist


CHENNAI, India Diabetes currently affects 246 million people worldwide and is expected to affect 380 million by 2025, according to estimates by the International Diabetes Foundation. That projection, however, could be an underestimate if the rising trends of obesity are not controlled, according to health experts.

"The projections are conservative because they take into account only aging and urbanization but not obesity, which if unarrested, will lead to more cases," Gojka Roglic of the World Health Organization's diabetes program told a regional diabetes conference here on Saturday, according to a Reuters report.

Roglic said not a single country in the world has shown any signs of a plateau for obesity, Reuters reported.

The foundation estimates that in 2007, the five countries with the largest numbers of people with diabetes were India (40.9 million), China (39.8 million), the United States (19.2 million), Russia (9.6 million) and Germany (7.4 million). Each year 3.8 million deaths are attributable to diabetes.

Fueling the fire is the increased risks of developing active tuberculosis that come with diabetes, Anthony Harries, senior adviser with the London-based International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, told conference attendees, according to the Reuters report.

"It was recognized even in ancient Roman times that people with urine that was sweet had increased risk of tuberculosis," Harries was quoted as saying.

He noted that a diabetic was three times more likely to develop active TB than a non-diabetic.

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