World Diabetes Day – knowing the facts

NOVEMBER Is World Diabetes Month – 14 Nov is Diabetes Day!

  • Every six seconds someone dies from diabetes – globally
  • One in 11 adults has diabetes
  • One in seven births is affected by gestational diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90% of cases
  • The total number of people with diabetes in Africa is expected to increase by 20 million in 2040 – bringing the total to 34.2 million diabetic patients on the continent.
  • A figure that was 14.2 million in 2015 – it’s not over reaching to suggest that we are facing a diabetes pandemic
  • Globally the picture is as bleak with 642 million people expected to develop type-2 diabetes within this same timeframe
  • It’s very uncommon for patients to have Type 2 diabetes without other conditions like cardiovascular, renal or metabolic conditions
  • People with type-2 diabetes have a two to three times greater risk of heart failure and are at an increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke
  • Cardiovascular-related events are the underlying cause of death for more than half of people with type-2 diabetes, reducing overall life expectancy by 5 to 15 years
  • A disease that is associated with significant comorbidities that contribute to an increased risk of costly hospitalisations, the logical response is to radically change the approach to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of this disease.

Those are the horrific stats associated with diabetes. Something has to be done to reverse this trend because although existing medicines have been of great benefit in the management of diabetes, treatment goals still remain suboptimal and there’s a need for newer treatment options to manage this progressive disease. The time for new approaches to the management of the disease is now!

This World Diabetes Day – Tues 14 Nov – there’s a strong case to be made for education and advocacy in the treatment of diabetes. Science cannot be seen in isolation and with current research showing the impact of stress, strain, sleep and food security on increased risk of diabetes – there’s now an even stronger need for education to better manage the pandemic.

Diabetes targets set by the United Nations and the World Health Organisation (WHO) include a global reduction in premature mortality from diabetes of one third by 2030 and a 25% reduction in the frequency of diabetes-related complications detected at diagnosis. Excellent work has been started to raise awareness levels of the diabetes challenge but clearly we have a long way to go if we are to reach these WHO targets.

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