More and more people get metabolic diseases, study finds

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Understanding Metabolic Diseases

Metabolic diseases are conditions that affect how your body processes food and uses it for energy.

They include high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

A group of researchers from Singapore, the US, and China wanted to learn more about these diseases. They used a big set of data called the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) reports to do it.

What is the Global Burden of Disease Report?

The GBD reports gather information about diseases and injuries from all around the world. More than 9,000 researchers from 162 countries and territories contribute to this data.

The data show how diseases and injuries lead to disability and early death in different parts of the world, among people of different ages, and between men and women.

The researchers used this data to track metabolic diseases from 2000 to 2019.

Rising Rates of Metabolic Diseases

The researchers found that rates of all metabolic diseases have gone up. These diseases are often connected because they share common risk factors.

For example, obesity can lead to insulin resistance, which in turn can lead to type 2 diabetes. Metabolic diseases also increase the risk of disability, cancer, and dying early.

Countries with higher incomes, better education, and more babies being born saw the biggest increase in metabolic diseases. However, rates of these diseases are going up all over the world.

Mortality Rates and Metabolic Diseases

The researchers found that the Eastern Mediterranean regions had the highest death rates from metabolic diseases.

Countries with lower income, less education, and fewer babies being born also had high death rates.

Even though more people are getting metabolic diseases, fewer people are dying from high cholesterol, high levels of fats in the blood, high blood pressure, and liver disease.

Key Findings

  • Obesity caused the most deaths out of the diseases studied, and this hasn’t changed much from 2000 to 2019. Each year, there was a small increase in the number of years of life lost to obesity. In 2019 alone, obesity was responsible for 160.2 million years of life lost.
  • The death rate from type 2 diabetes didn’t change much either, but the number of people with the disease increased slightly each year. In 2019, type 2 diabetes was responsible for 6.6 million years of life lost.
  • The number of deaths from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease went down slightly each year. However, the number of people with the disease increased a bit each year. In 2019, this disease was responsible for 4.4 million years of life lost.

What Can We Do?

The researchers concluded that we need to pay more attention to metabolic diseases. While fewer people are dying from these diseases, more and more people are getting them.

This is a big problem that needs to be solved, and we need to work on reducing the differences in death rates based on where people live, their income, and their education.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies that MIND diet may reduce risk of vision loss disease, and new therapy for type 2 diabetes remains effective 2 years later.

For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies that Vitamin E could help reduce blood sugar and insulin resistance in diabetes, and results showing diabetes drug metformin may slow down cognitive decline.

The study was published in Cell Metabolism.

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