Diabetes is a growing problem across every nation, with around one in ten of the global population expected to suffer from the condition by 2035.
This is according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), which revealed that by 2035, the amount of people with diabetes will reach 592 million.
The majority of these people will live in low and middle income countries and be under the age of 60.
Previous figures from the group published last year forecast that 371 million people worldwide would have diabetes by the end of 2012, showing an upward trend as time progresses.
One of the main problems is that many people live with diabetes without having it formally diagnosed, which could put their long-term health at risk.
IDF statistics show that China has the highest proportion of people with diabetes at 98 million, followed by India with 65 million and a further 24 million in the US.
The highest regional concentration of diabetes sufferers, however, is found in the Western Pacific, which includes Australia.
Sir Michael Hirst, IDF president, explained how there needs to be a change in attitude when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes.
Speaking at the International Diabetes Leadership Forum in Turkey on World Diabetes Day, he noted: "Diabetes is a disease of development. The misconception that diabetes is 'a disease of the wealthy' is still held, to the detriment of desperately needed funding to combat the pandemic.
"On World Diabetes Day, we must continue to increase awareness of the importance of a healthy diet and physical activity. Crucially, environments must be created that lay the foundations for healthy living."
Additional figures from the group showed that North America allocates the most healthcare dollars to diabetes, while other nations have relatively low levels of spending.
The problem of people going undiagnosed was found to be the most prominent in south-east Asia – here, the IDF estimates that around half of people with the condition do not know they have it.
In South and Central America, it is forecast that there will be a 60 per cent rise in the number of people suffering from diabetes within a generation, while in Africa, three-quarters of diabetes-related deaths are individuals under the age of 60.
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