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Is Diabetes An Epidemic?

Diabetes: The Epidemic

Diabetes: The Epidemic

On Barbara Young's office table is a graph. A bar chart, actually: four columns of green, purple, red and bright blue showing the progression, in England, of rates of coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes over the past five years. The first two are flatlining or falling. Cancer, in red, is rising, but slowly. Trace a line between the blue bars from 2005 to 2010, and it soars off the chart. "Diabetes," says Young flatly, "is becoming a crisis. The crisis. It's big, it's scary, it's growing and it's very, very expensive. It's clearly an epidemic, and it could bring the health service to its knees. Something really does need to happen." Baroness Young is, admittedly, the chief executive of Diabetes UK, Britain's main diabetes charity and campaigning group. It's her job to say such things. But the figures are behind her all the way: diabetes is fast becoming the 21st century's major public-health concern. The condition is now nearly four times as common as all forms of cancer combined, and causes more deaths than breast and prostate cancer combined. Some 2.8m people in the UK have been diagnosed with it; an estimated 850,000 more probably have type 2 diabetes but don't yet know. Another 7m are classified as high-risk of developing type 2; between 40% and 50% of them will go on to develop it. By the year 2025, more than 5m people in this country will have diabetes. The implications for the NHS, obviously, don't bear thinking about. Diabetes already costs the service around £1m an hour, roughly 10% of its entire budget. That's not just because the condition generally has to be managed with medication or insulin, but because by the time they are diagnosed, around half the people with type 2 – by far the most common and fastest growing form – have developed a Continue reading >>

The Truth About The ‘diabetes Epidemic’

The Truth About The ‘diabetes Epidemic’

ccording to official stats, the number of cases of diabetes has shot up by 60 per cent in the past decade. The vast majority of these cases are type-2 diabetes, which is linked to obesity and leads to a variety of complications including heart disease, stroke, circulation problems that require amputations, and blindness. This rise in diabetes is routinely referred to, alongside obesity, as the central reason why something must be done about our ‘obesogenic environment’, and why we must all eat our five-a-day, dump the fast food and get more exercise. But there’s always been something rather troubling about the sudden boom in diabetes cases. Chronic conditions don’t normally take off that quickly; that’s something that we would normally associate with an outbreak of infectious disease. Could there be more to the diabetes epidemic than meets the eye? A research paper published last week in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, offers an explanation. The first thing to note is that diabetes cases are usually referred to according to prevalence – that is, the number of people who are living with the condition. That’s important when it comes to understanding the demands that might be placed on health services, for example. But it’s important to distinguish that from incidence – that is, the number of new cases reported each year. When people refer to an epidemic of diabetes, it is often assumed that the number of new cases is rising rapidly. So, is it? Apparently not. The new paper looked at 180,290 new cases of type-2 diabetes in Scotland between 2004 and 2013. The authors note: ‘Overall, incidence of type-2 diabetes remained stable over time and was 4.88 and 3.33 per 1,000 in men and women, respectively. Howeve Continue reading >>

Diabetes: The Epidemic That Indians Created

Diabetes: The Epidemic That Indians Created

Sharad Tripathi of Meerut developed diabetes five years ago, at 33, “no thanks to the stressful life of a sales person that involves a lot of travel, eating out and irregular meal times, and no time for exercise". Just when Tripathi learnt to manage his condition — with medication and lifestyle changes — his mother, in her mid-60s, developed diabetes. Tripathi found himself sharing the dos and don’ts of living with diabetes with his parents. The family’s predicament indicates how fast the disease is sweeping India, enveloping entire generations, ignoring age and setting new global records, as it trebled over the past two decades. (World Diabetes Day: 10 Healthy Snacks for People with Diabetes) In 1995, India had 19.4 million diabetics. Within 19 years, that number had more than tripled to 66.8 million in 2014, according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). That makes India, home to 17 percent of the world’s population, also home to 17 percent of the world’s diabetics. Another 77 million Indians are currently believed to be pre-diabetic, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research. In 2010, diabetes stood 18th in the list of diseases by years of life lost, up from 31 in 1990, as per the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Deaths attributable to diabetes grew 41 percent from 161,000 to 227,300 between 2000 and 2012, according to the World Health Organisation. That increase was enough to catapult diabetes into the top 10 of killer diseases in India. The IDF pegs annual deaths due to diabetes in India at more than one million, possibly because poorly controlled diabetes brings on other killer diseases. Diabetes in India now cuts across all age groups and geographies. Although it is more prevalent in urban areas, rural India will catch up as Continue reading >>

The Diabetes Epidemic In India: A Vision Of The World's Future

The Diabetes Epidemic In India: A Vision Of The World's Future

India has the largest number of people with diabetes in the world. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the number of diabetics rose from its already high 1995 rate of 19 million to over 62 million in 2011. An estimated 11% to 20% of India's urban population has diabetes, and 3% to 5% of the adult rural population has the disease. Estimates from the World Health Organization say that the disease currently costs India about $250 billion per year, and that in the next ten years this figure will skyrocket to $335 billion. Clearly, India has a diabetes problem. But the real issue is that it's a predictor of a growing global problem. According to the International Journal of Diabetes in Developing Countries, the alarming increase in diabetes "has gone beyond epidemic form to a pandemic one." India is just the "canary in the coal mine," warning miners of dangers they cannot see. The rise of diabetes in India is being seen by health experts as a precursor of what we can expect to see happen all over the world in coming years. What are the causes of this diabetes pandemic? Because most of the newly-diagnosed cases in India are of Type 2 diabetes (formerly called non-insulin-diabetes), the root causes there are the same as they are in America – poor diet overloaded with fat, sugar, and calories, obesity, stress, and a sedentary lifestyle, in which people don't get enough exercise. These causal factors are amplified in India by genetics (in which many people seem to be prone to the disease because their parents and grandparents were) and cultural factors (what is considered "fat" in America is considered normal in India, and what America considers a normal weight is considered in India "too skinny"). It has also been triggered by the large-scale importation of a Continue reading >>

Diabetes Is 'epidemic' With 400 Million Sufferers Worldwide: Number With Condition Set To Soar By 55% Within 20 Years Unless Humans Change Way They Eat And Exercise

Diabetes Is 'epidemic' With 400 Million Sufferers Worldwide: Number With Condition Set To Soar By 55% Within 20 Years Unless Humans Change Way They Eat And Exercise

Diabetes has become a global epidemic, affecting one in 12 adults, scientists say. And the number of sufferers is set to soar by 55 per cent in the next two decades unless the human population drastically changes the way it eats and exercises. The study by researchers at the University of East Anglia estimates that 382million people had diabetes in 2013. At current rates, that figure is expected to reach 592million by 2035. Around 10 per cent of sufferers have type 1 diabetes – an auto-immune disorder that is usually present from childhood. But the other 90 per cent have type 2 diabetes – an illness driven by a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet. The chronic illness is a particular problem in fast-developing countries. In China and India, almost 10 per cent of adults have diabetes, compared with the global average of 8.3 per cent, reveals the study published in the journal Pharmaco Economics. In Britain, around 3.2million people have diabetes. Lead researcher Till Seuring said: ‘Diabetes has become an epidemic. ‘The rising prevalence of diabetes in these countries has been fuelled by rapid urbanization, changing eating habits, and increasingly sedentary lifestyles. ‘Diabetes affects 382 million people worldwide, and that number is expected to grow to 592 million by 2035. ‘It is a chronic disease that has spread widely in recent decades - not only in high-income countries, but also in many populous low and middle-income countries such as India and China.’ He added: ‘We would hope that the findings further increase the policy attention being paid to diabetes prevention and management in rich countries and it should in particular make health and economic policymakers in developing countries aware of the economic damage that diabetes can do.’ The study, pub Continue reading >>

Global Diabetes Epidemic

Global Diabetes Epidemic

Photo: Diabetes screening © 2015 Uttam Kamati, Courtesy of K4Health Photoshare How Badly Are Developing Countries Hit? The World Health Organization (WHO)’s first global report on diabetes underscores how diabetes is no longer a disease of predominantly rich nations but is increasing in all regions, including in developing countries. In 2014, there were 422 million cases of diabetes, or 8.5 percent of the world’s population. In 2012 alone, 3.7 million people died from the disease, 1.5 million directly and 2.2 million indirectly. We ask: In which region is diabetes most prevalent? A. Africa B. Americas C. Eastern Mediterranean D. Europe E. South-East Asia Of the six WHO regions, Africa has the lowest prevalence, with 7.1 percent of its population suffering from diabetes. However, diabetes prevalence in Africa has more than doubled since 1980 and 25 million Africans now suffer from the disease, compared to only 4 million in 1980 and it looks like it will continue on a sharp upward direction. Sixty-two million people suffer from diabetes in the Americas, or 8.3 percent of the total population, which is a 344 percent increase since 1980. About one in twelve Americans today has diabetes, compared with one in twenty a generation ago. Nearly one in seven people in the Eastern Mediterranean, or 13.7 percent, suffer from diabetes. There has been an alarming increase in prevalence in this part of the world, which includes the Arabian Gulf countries, Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. The number of sufferers has risen from 6 million in 1980 to 43 million today, a more than 700 percent increase. The Eastern Mediterranean also has the highest mortality rate from diabetes of all WHO regions, 139.6 per 100,000 people aged 20+. With 7.3 percent of its population suffering from diabe Continue reading >>

The Diabetes Epidemic

The Diabetes Epidemic

The disease, for which there is currently no cure, exacts a tremendous toll on patients, their families, and society. Diabetes, even when carefully controlled with conventional therapies, negatively impacts both the lifespan and quality of life for millions of people. The International Diabetes Federation, or IDF, estimates that in 2015 approximately 415 million people had diabetes worldwide and that by 2040, this will increase to 642 million people worldwide. In the United States, more than 29 million people, or approximately 9% of the U.S. population, suffer from diabetes, and 86 million are living with prediabetes, a serious health condition that increases a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the American Diabetes Association, the total costs of diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. rose dramatically from $174 billion in 2007 to $245 billion in 2012. This includes $176 billion in direct medical costs and $69 billion in reduced productivity. Of the total population with diabetes, approximately 5%, or almost 1.5 million people in the U.S., have type 1 diabetes (T1D). In 2010, it was estimated that the annual cost of T1D to the U.S. healthcare system was approximately $14.4 billion. What is Diabetes? Diabetes mellitus, or simply diabetes, is a group of diseases characterized by high blood glucose (a.k.a., high blood sugar or hyperglycemia) that results from defects in the body’s ability to produce and/or use the hormone insulin. With the advent of, and improvements in, pharmaceutical insulin over the last century, the issue has become less so chronically high blood sugar, but instead blood sugar that must always be monitored, and for most diabetic patients is extremely diffi Continue reading >>

China's Looming Diabetes Epidemic

China's Looming Diabetes Epidemic

A diabetes patient shows diabetes specialist Doctor Tong Xiao Lin (2nd L) her tongue during a medical check-up at the Guanganmen Chinese medicine Hospital in Beijing. (David Gray/Reuters) These days we’ve been used to China being the land of “the first,” “the largest” and “the highest.” However, not all of these superlatives are worthy of praise. China now has the largest diabetic population in the world (114 million), according to a recent study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Even more shocking is that China’s diabetes prevalence has increased from 1 percent in 1980 to 11.6 percent in 2010, which is even higher than the United States (11.3 percent). And the worst is yet to come. Indeed, 493 million people, or one in two adults, in China are thought to have prediabetes, or abnormally high blood sugar levels that presage the disease. According to Dr. Ji Linong, a leading Chinese expert on diabetics, each year, six to seven percent of those with prediabetes—amounting to approximately 30 million—will be added to the diabetes population estimate. If this true, China’s diabetes population already exceeds 130 million. (A 2010 article in the New England Journal of Medicine forecasted China would reach this benchmark by 2030.) The high diabetes prevalence in China reflects a combination of genetic and environmental influences. Other things being equal, Asians are more likely than Caucasians to develop diabetes even at a body weight considered “normal” by mainstream western standards. Also, more than half of the Chinese live in cities (as opposed to 20 percent in 1980); 9 percent of the population are aged over 65 (as opposed to 5 percent in 1982). In addition, Chinese are leading increasingly sedentary lives while Continue reading >>

A Growing Problem – The Global Epidemic Of Diabetes

A Growing Problem – The Global Epidemic Of Diabetes

In 1916, Elliott Joslin, MD, published the first edition of “The Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus,” and he would become one of the leading voices on the disease and treatment. Now, 100 years later, the disease has reached epidemic status as the global population rapidly approaches 500 million diabetics, a startling increase from 108 million cases in 1980. – Type 2 diabetes is not only impacting more individuals annually; it is also creating a serious financial burden. In 2012, in the US alone, $176 billion was spent treating diabetes. And it is estimated that in the US, 29 million people are diabetic and 87 million, one out every three adults, is at high-risk of developing the disease. Research has shown that diabetes knows no bounds — poor and affluent countries alike have shown steady increases in the prevalence of diabetes. The driving factor behind the growth in type 2 diabetes is excessive weight and obesity. When people are overweight, there is added pressure on their body to use insulin to control blood sugar levels, making it more likely to develop the disease. Vulnerable Populations and Diabetes While obesity is affecting everyone, it’s hitting vulnerable populations at an even higher rate. It has been well documented that high-quality, healthier foods are more expensive to purchase and more difficult to obtain. For low-income families, access to full-service grocery stores may be limited, making it both logistically challenging and expensive to purchase fresh foods. As a result, their diets may rely more on unhealthy foods — items packed with refined grains, added sugar, and saturated fat. Additionally, low-income families may have fewer opportunities for physical activity with not as many safe recreational areas or affordable organized sports. With Continue reading >>

Prediabetes: The Epidemic That Never Was, And Shouldn't Be

Prediabetes: The Epidemic That Never Was, And Shouldn't Be

(Nam Y. Huh / AP) This summer, your TV will begin alerting you to the dangers of high blood sugar. Your phone will buzz with automatic messages assessing the glycemic index of your breakfast bagel. And your Facebook feed will remind you to take the stairs, not the elevator. This is all the result of a recent initiative intended to increase awareness of a condition known as prediabetes. Marked by abnormal but not yet pathological blood sugar levels, prediabetes acts as a risk marker for Type 2 diabetes, a metabolic disease in which the body fails to properly process sugar. The idea is akin to cancer prevention: catch the tumor early (prediabetes) and avoid metastasis (diabetes). According to the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention numbers, prediabetes is becoming a national emergency. In 2014, 86 million adult Americans were said to be prediabetic. This means that 1 in 3 American adults have prediabetes — a figure higher than the number of Americans who currently hold a bachelor's degree. Yet those claims may be scaring more people than they are helping. The United States has the lowest prediabetes cut-off points of high-income countries around the world, meaning that prediabetes gets diagnosed earlier and more frequently, leading to new patients and higher costs. In 2003, and then again in 2010, the American Diabetes Association shifted the prediabetes diagnostic threshold down, from 110 to 100 milligrams per deciliter for the finger-stick glucose test, and from 6.0 to 5.7 percent for the average blood sugar level (the HbA1C test). Other countries have pushed back. So has the World Health Organization, which has cautioned since 2006 that lower thresholds would needlessly double the prevalence of prediabetes and inadvertently implicate patients at mi Continue reading >>

Cost Of Global Diabetes Epidemic Soars To $850 Billion Per Year

Cost Of Global Diabetes Epidemic Soars To $850 Billion Per Year

The number of people living with diabetes has tripled since 2000, pushing the global cost of the disease to $850 billion a year, medical experts said on Tuesday. The vast majority of those affected have type 2 diabetes, which is linked to obesity and lack of exercise, and the epidemic is spreading particularly fast in poorer countries as people adopt Western diets and urban lifestyles. The latest estimates from the International Diabetes Federation mean that one in 11 adults worldwide have the condition, which occurs when the amount of sugar in the blood is too high. The total number of diabetics is now 451 million and is expected to reach 693 million by 2045 if current trends continue. The high price of dealing with the disease reflects not only the cost of medicines but also the management of a range of complications, such as limb amputations and eye problems. Continue reading >>

1 Type 2 Diabetes: A 21st Century Epidemic

1 Type 2 Diabetes: A 21st Century Epidemic

Around 415 million people around the world have diabetes (9% of adults), and the vast majority live in low- and middle-income countries. Over the next decade, this number is predicted to increase to 642 million people. Given that diabetes is a major cause of mortality, morbidity, and health care expenditures, addressing this chronic disease represents one of the greatest global health challenges of our time. The objectives of this article are three-fold: (1) to present data on the global burden of type 2 diabetes (which makes up 87–91% of the total diabetes burden), both in terms of prevalence and incidence; (2) to give an overview of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes, and to describe obesity and the developmental origins of disease risk in detail; and (3) to discuss the implications of the global burden and point out important research gaps. Continue reading >>

The Terrifying Rise Of Diabetes, In Every Corner Of The U.s.

The Terrifying Rise Of Diabetes, In Every Corner Of The U.s.

Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S., due to sugary diets and the lack of exercise. If current disease rates continue, one in three Americans will have diabetes by 2050. Over time, the condition can lead to kidney failure, limb amputations and blindness, among other complications. That Data Dude created this interactive map showing the percent of the current population that has been diagnosed with diabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Colorado stands out by far as the healthiest state by this measure: In many of its counties, 4 percent or less of the population has been diagnosed with diabetes. South Dakota, Alabama, Mississippi, Montana, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina are at the opposite end of the scale. In counties in South Dakota, North Carolina, and Mississippi more than 14 percent of the population had been diagnosed with diabetes in 2012. The map shows that only 10 counties in the U.S. experienced a decrease in diabetes rates between 2004 and 2012: McCracken County, Kentucky Arlington County, Virginia Hawaii County, Hawaii Beckham County, Oklahoma San Francisco County, California Roosevelt County, Montana Cuming County, Nebraska Mellette County, South Dakota Preston County, West Virginia Logan County, Nebraska In five more counties, in Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington, rate remained unchanged. But in all the other counties in the U.S. – that’s 2,992 of them – diabetes prevalence has gone up. More stories from Know More, Wonkblog's social media site: - Premature death among American women is on par with Mexico, even though the U.S. spends 10 times as much Continue reading >>

Global Diabetes Epidemic Must Not Become Epidemic Of Blindness

Global Diabetes Epidemic Must Not Become Epidemic Of Blindness

Systematic eye screening, preventive treatment can have far-reaching impact The global epidemic in type 2 diabetes mellitus is of unprecedented proportions. In absolute numbers, it probably exceeds any previous epidemic in the history of mankind. There are now more than 400 million people with diabetes in the world, and the number is projected to exceed 600 million by 2030. In 2000, there were “only” 150 million people in the world with diabetes. In China alone, there are now more diabetic patients than were in the world when diabetic eye screening and preventive care for diabetic eye disease started in the 1980s. During 20 years with type 2 diabetes, roughly 66% of patients develop retinopathy and about 33% develop sight-threatening retinopathy, where treatment is needed to prevent vision loss. Thus, we may expect that one-third of the more than 400 million people currently with diabetes will develop diabetic macular oedema or proliferative diabetic retinopathy within the next 20 years. Taking action Systematic screening for eye disease in diabetic patients started in northern Europe in the 1980s, with dramatic lowering of diabetic blindness, for example, in Iceland. In the UK, systematic screening over the past 2 decades has demoted diabetes from being the most frequent cause of blindness in the working-age population. A global effort to prevent an epidemic of diabetic blindness must be based on the proven success of systematic eye screening and preventive treatment. This is a huge task. Presently, systematic screening for diabetic eye disease is regularly undertaken in a few northern European countries and sporadically by some eye clinics and regions elsewhere. Most diabetic patients around the world do not have access to diabetic eye screening. The cost is consi Continue reading >>

Dr. Andrew J.m. Boulton: Diabetes, The Global Epidemic

Dr. Andrew J.m. Boulton: Diabetes, The Global Epidemic

Dr. Andrew J.M. Boulton talked with Diabetes in Control Publisher Steve Freed during the AACE 2017 convention in Austin, Texas about the worldwide state of diabetes, the impact by society, and treatment options. Dr. Andrew J.M. Boulton, MD, DSc, FACP, FRCP is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Manchester in England and is a visiting professor at the University of Miami. - has a special interest in diabetes and its complications, providing inpatient supervision of patients with diabetic complications and outpatient clinics at the Manchester Diabetes Centre. - is the immediate past-President of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes and is currently president of Worldwide Initiative for Diabetes Education. He is also a leading authority on amputations in diabetes Topics covered in the video: Diabetes needs to be taken seriously and its profile raised by all countries. Diabetes is threatening the health of the nation, and of the world. Westernisation along with genetic disposition adding to the epidemic is a major problem for some nations. Sugary drinks tax is a feasible option that can impact on the epidemic. India places the threat of diabetes to their survival over malaria and tuberculosis. A strong message to doctors - incorporate consistent foot checks in patients as part of visit. Regular checking of blood pressure for people with diabetes is important. Continue reading >>

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