Around 366 million people worldwide are affected with diabetes, reported the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).

In its shocking revelation on Tuesday in Lisbon, Portugal, during the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Meet, the global diabetes authority said diabetes is an epidemic now causing 4.6 million deaths every year, which is one death every seven seconds.

The clock is ticking for the world's leaders, we expect action from their meeting next week at the United Nations that will halt diabetes' relentlessly upwards trajectory, said Jean Claude Mbanya, president of the federation, in a written statement.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that increases levels of sugar in the blood. As a consequence, chances of diseases like stroke, heart failure, kidney and nerve failure and blindness also increase.

In 2010, the estimated number of diabetes affected people was 285 million, reported IDF. The increasing rate of diabetes is a certain proof that it is a massive challenge that the world can no longer ignore.

Mbanya and EASD Vice-President, Andrew Boulton, called for more comprehensive research to strengthen the world health systems to fight against diabetes.

Global diabetes drug manufacturers like Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi are planning to introduce new improved drugs that would increase the treatment options.

Type 1 diabetes is usually often found in children, adolescents or young adults but can occur at any age, whereas Type 2 diabetes is more common and linked to obesity, poor diet and lack of exercise.