A worldwide epidemic costing billions of people : Diabetes

Diabetes is on the rise worldwide with new diagnoses expected to hit more than 570 million by 2030

Giving an overview of the program, Dr. Fred W. Amegashie, Director of NCDs at the MOH, said the World Diabetes Day was launched in 1991 by the IDF and the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to the rapid rise of diabetes around the world.

India was the largest contributor to diabetes mortality with more than 1 million estimated deaths attributable to diabetes and related complications, in the larger South East Asian region, the report said.

Type 2 diabetes - formerly called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus - is the most common type of diabetes, which accounts for around 90% of the disease worldwide and results from the body's ineffective use of insulin, causing so-called "insulin resistance", according to the WHO. Besides the growth and aging of the world population in general, the global obesity epidemic has turned out to be a key factor for the rise of diabetes incidence together with the huge progress of multifactorial cardiovascular risk management and successful revascularization therapy of people with diabetes also contributing to the expansion of the worldwide diabetes population. Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes are the three kinds of diabetes.

"Diabetes is a serious threat to global health that respects neither socioeconomic status nor national boundaries", said Prof. "The countries that have the highest number of people with diabetes do not, of course, necessarily have the highest prevalence", it added. We must do more to prevent T2D, diagnose all forms of diabetes early and prevent complications. Access to insulin is therefore absolutely crucial for people with type 1 diabetes.

Diabetes has an impact on all age groups, regardless of geography and income. One in two individuals presently dwelling with diabetes is undiagnosed. The rise in prevalence is putting a strain on the capacity of countries to guarantee regular and affordable access to essential medicines and appropriate care.

If you want to know more about the risk factors and test your diabetes knowledge, the IDF has published an online test for the public to empower more people to look for the warning signs in their lives and the lives of their loved ones.

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Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and lower limb amputation. These result in reduced quality of life and higher healthcare costs and place undue stress on families.

"The IDF Diabetes Atlas provides information for those who have to make decisions about diabetes care and prevention and for those who seek to influence such decisions", said IDF Diabetes Atlas Committee Chair, Professor Rhys Williams. "A considerable amount of research and new evidence has been collated for the 9 edition".

Much can be done to reduce the impact of diabetes.

374 million adults have impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), placing them at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Other key findings by the IDF state that diabetes, which is listed as one of the top 10 causes of death in the USA, has globally caused "almost half of deaths occurring in people under the age of 60 years", and that the glucose-centered disease is responsible for roughly $760 billion of the US' health expenditures in 2019. In total numbers, this reflects a population of 424.9 million (95% CI 346.4-545.4 million) people with diabetes worldwide in 2017 with an estimate of a 48% increase to 628.6 million people (95% CI 477.0-808.7 million) for the year 2045.

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