Diabetes Problem Grows Relentlessly

November 12, 2012

Diabetes Problem Grows Relentlessly

The International Diabetes Federation has stated at the meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, that the world now has an estimated 366 million people with diabetes. Of these people trying to cope with the condition about 4.6 million people every year die of diabetes. Presently medical and health care costs come in at $465 billion and this figure is expected to rise as the epidemic continues to grow.

The European Association for the Study of Diabetes met in Lisbon, Portugal, just one week before the United Nations held only its second summit ever, on non-communicable diseases. The objective of the summit is to address the issues of diabetes, type 1 and type 2, cancer and heart and chronic respiratory diseases. The first time that the United Nations held a summit was in 2001, when it set goals to address the HIV/AIDS crisis.

The statistics highlighting the significant continual growth of the diabetes problem comes from international sources. The International Diabetes Federation President Jean Claude Mbanya said that the statistics are “proof indeed that diabetes is a massive challenge the world can no longer afford to ignore. In 2011, one person is dying from diabetes every seven seconds”. He further warns that “The clock is ticking for the world’s leaders, we expect action from their high-level meeting next week at the United Nations that will halt diabetes’ relentlessly upwards trajectory”.

The International Diabetes Federation is looking for better evaluation of the disease by strengthening health care systems and expanding local health care facilities when required. They also suggest that integrating diabetes care and services with primary care facilities, the management of chronic diseases, and the maternal and child health fields would be beneficial.

There are two types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. In type 1 diabetes the body is unable to produce insulin, which is the hormone which takes sugar in the blood to the cells throughout the body. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. Type 2 diabetes is regularly caused by lack of exercise, unhealthy eating habits and obesity and is much more common.

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