The number of people suffering from diabetes is rising quickly. Research shows that one in five adults over 65 suffers from diabetes.
Including the number of people suffering from pre-diabetes symptoms like abnormal glucose levels, half (47.4 percent) of all senior citizens are either diabetics or approaching that condition.
The Korean Diabetes Association released a report detailing the findings on Thursday. According to the report, one in 10 adults over 30 was diabetic in 2010. The proportion rose to 22.7 percent for people over 65.
Based on these findings, the KDA estimates the total number of diabetics in Korea at 3.2 million. The prevalence rate of diabetes among Korean adults was 8.6 percent in 2001 and rose to 9.1 percent in 2005. At this rate, the KDA forecast the total number of diabetics in the country will reach 4.24 million in 2020 and 5.91 million in 2050.
The KDA cited the rising number of senior citizens, surge in obesity, lack of exercise, consumption of fatty foods and stress as the main factors behind the increase. "We are seeing a surge in diabetes, but most of these people don't know that they have the disease, which leads to complications," said Dr. Cha Bong-yun at Seoul St. Mary's Hospital.