LISBON, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Diabetes kills 12 people a day in Portugal in 2015, according to a report released on Wednesday.
The report, titled "Diabetes: Facts and Numbers" from the National Observatory for Diabetes, revealed that the number of newly reported diagnoses grew in 2015, with around 168 new cases of diabetes identified every day.
The illness is more prevalent in men than in women and there is higher incidence among the elderly population. Over a quarter of people aged between 60 and 79 suffer from the disease, according to the report.
Rui Duarte, president of the Portuguese Diabetology Society, highlighted that the numbers registered are "surprising" and confirm a growing trend in recent years.
The cost of medicines for diabetic people for the national health system more than tripled in the past 10 years, the figures from the report show.
The rise in costs is explained through an increase of the prevalence of the condition but also due to the number of people treated rising, as well as the doses used in treatments.
According to the World Health Organization, around 422 million people around the world have diabetes, and 1.5 million deaths are attributed to the disease each year.
Diabetes is a chronic disease characterized by high levels of blood sugar which leads to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, eyes and nerves.