Diabetes cases canbe prevented through diet and lifestyle modification

09Nov 2019
Editor
The Guardian
Diabetes cases canbe prevented through diet and lifestyle modification

Globally, an estimated 422 million adults are living with diabetes, according to the latest 2016 data from the World Health Organisation (WHO). Diabetes prevalence is increasing rapidly; previous 2013 estimates from the International Diabetes Federation put the number at 381 million people having-

-diabetes.  The number is projected to almost double by 2030.

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimates that 14.2 million are living with diabetes in Africa.  The region of Africa has the highest percentage of undiagnosed diabetes cases reaching 66.7 per cent, the highest proportion of diabetes mellitus related mortality and the lowest health expenditure spent on diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes makes up about 85-90 per cent of all cases.  Increases in the overall diabetes prevalence rates largely reflect an increase in risk factors for type 2, notably greater longevity and being overweight or obese.  

Diabetes mellitus occurs throughout the world, but is more common (especially type 2) in the more developed countries. The greatest increase in prevalence is, however, occurring in low- and middle-income countries  including in Asia and Africa, where most patients will probably be found by 2030.  The increase in incidence in developing countries follows the trend of urbanization and lifestyle changes, including increasingly sedentary lifestyles, less physically demanding work and the global nutrition transition, marked by increased intake of foods that are high energy-dense but nutrient-poor (often high in sugar and saturated fats, sometimes referred to as the Western pattern diet).  The risk of getting type 2 diabetes has been widely found to be associated with lower socio-economic position across countries. 

The WHO estimates that diabetes resulted in 1.5 million deaths in 2012, making it the 8th leading cause of death.  However another 2.2 million deaths worldwide were attributable to high blood glucose and the increased risks of associated complications (e.g. heart disease, stroke, kidney failure), which often result in premature death and are often listed as the underlying cause on death certificates rather than diabetes.

World Diabetes Day is the primary global awareness campaign focusing on diabetes mellitus and is held on 14 November each year. Led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), each World Diabetes Day focuses on a theme related to diabetes; type-2 diabetes is largely preventable and treatable non-communicable disease that is rapidly increasing in numbers worldwide. Type 1 Diabetes is not preventable but can be managed with insulin injections.  Topics covered have included diabetes and human rights, diabetes and lifestyle, diabetes and obesity, diabetes in the disadvantaged and the vulnerable, and diabetes in children and adolescents. While the campaigns last the whole year, the day itself marks the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best and John James Rickard Macleod, first conceived the idea which led to the discovery of insulin in 1922. 

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. 

By 2016, World Diabetes Day was being commemorated by over 230 IDF member associations in more than 160 countries and territories, as well as by other organizations, companies, healthcare professionals, politicians, celebrities, and people living with diabetes and their families.[4] Activities include diabetes screening programmes, radio and television campaigns, sports events and others.

Healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use are ways to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes can be treated and its consequences avoided or delayed with diet, physical activity, medication and regular screening and treatment for complications.

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