Cities Are the Front Line in the Global Diabetes Epidemic
Today, 437 million people worldwide have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. New estimates published this month show that three-quarters of a billion people could have the disease by 2045 — and cities are the front line of this challenge. As the growth fast becomes unmanageable for health systems, shortening the lives of millions of urban citizens and constraining economic growth, Novo Nordisk is working with a coalition of major cities to bend the curve on type 2 diabetes. We’re calling for local political and health leaders of all cities to ask what it will take to change the trajectory of the disease in their area and to put into practice the new models that we are forging.
A rapidly urbanizing world is changing not just where we live but also how we live. As my predecessor at Novo Nordisk wrote, the way cities are designed, built, and run creates health benefits for citizens — but critically it also creates risks. Towns and cities, where half of the world’s population now lives, are home to two-thirds of people with diabetes. That’s why when we initiated the Cities Changing Diabetes program in 2014, we set out to put a spotlight on urban diabetes. This effort has grown into a global partnership of nine major cities, home to over 75 million people, and over 100 expert partners united in the fight against urban diabetes.
Without concerted action, health systems around the world will reach a point in coming decades when they won’t be able to effectively treat patients sustainably. We conservatively estimate that the related costs of diabetes — including medication, su Continue reading