Saturday, 23 January 2021

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Diabetes kills more and more


14.11.2016 – “Diabetes is one of the main global killers today”, according to Etienne Krug, Director of the World Health Organisation’s Department for Management of Noncommunicable Diseases. The organisation's Global Report on Diabetes estimates that the number of cases among adults has risen from 180 to 422 million in just 35 years.

November 14 is the day internationally dedicated to diabetes, which now affects 8.5 per cent of the global adult population, and about 60 million people in the European Region1. In 2012 alone, approximately 1.5 million people died because of diabetes around the world. If the number of affected people continues to rise, diabetes could become the 7th most frequent cause of death in the world.

This rise can be explained by a change in our food habits and way of living. South-East Asia, where eating habits have changed drastically in the past few years, has more than half of the world’s cases of diabetics. Diabetes is not confined to developing countries. In the European region the number is set to rise to over 70 million by 2040.

The cost to the global economy is great. Dr. Krug estimates that economic losses due to this illness surpass €729 billion a year.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that arises when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin or when the metabolism does not use insulin properly. It can have various repercussions: blindness, kidney failure, heat attack, and stroke and limb amputation. There are two forms of diabetes: type one, which requires daily insulin injections and whose cause is unknown, and type two, which represents 90 per cent of cases in the world and is mostly down to being overweight and lack of exercise.

Rethinking our habits can stop the spread of this disease. The solution lies in healthy food routines and regular physical activity. Public authorities have to make sure that people are able to make healthy choices. Margaret Chan, Director of the World Health Organisation, highlighted that “health care systems must be efficient enough to diagnose and cure diabetics, including amongst the poorer parts of the population”.

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