An estimate released by the International Diabetes Federation states that around 366 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes and the numbers are escalating.

According to a report released Tuesday, the number of cases is “staggering,” with one person dying of diabetes every seven seconds, or about eight every minute.

The IDF said in a news release that 4.6 million deaths per year are due to diabetes and that spending on the disease has reached $465 billion U.S. per year.

“IDF’s latest Atlas data are proof indeed that diabetes is a massive challenge the world can no longer afford to ignore, said the group's president, Jean Claude Mbanya.

The figures were announced during the meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Lisbon. 

The federation discussed adoption of concrete measures to stop this epidemic, along with plans to invest more in research, in the meeting.

“We expect action from the meeting next week at the United Nations that will halt diabetes’ relentlessly upwards trajectory,” said Mbanya.

“The socio-economic impact of not just diabetes, but all non-communicable diseases, is staggering,” said Professor Boulton, vice president of EASD.

Experts predict that this abrupt rise in diabetes is dependent on several factors. Since diabetes is more common in middle age, the rise in obesity is one of the major factors affecting and even resulting in this increase in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in the world.