Today is World Health Day and this year the focus of the campaign is diabetes.
Diabetes is a chronic disease characterised by hyperglycaemia — an increased concentration of glucose in the blood. There are two main types of diabetes: type I (the inability of the pancreas to produce enough insulin) and type 2 (the inability to use insulin effectively). Type 2 is often caused by obesity and lack of physical activity, whereas type 1 is caused by autoimmune attack of the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas and is currently not preventable. In addition to these two main types, there is a third type called gestational diabetes which is hyperglycaemia during pregnancy. Diabetes, when uncontrolled, can have devastating effects on the major organs, including the heart.
Approximately 350 million people have diabetes worldwide which is estimated to double in the next 20 years.1 The World Health Organisation (WHO) aims to increase disease awareness and shed light on efforts that can be made to “halt the rise” and “beat” it across the globe. To find out more, please visit http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2016/en/
Below are some facts about diabetes:
World Health Organization. Global Health Estimates: Deaths by Cause, Age, Sex and Country, 2000–2012. Geneva, WHO, 2014
Mathers CD, Loncar D. Projections of global mortality and burden of disease from 2002 to 2030. PLoS Med. 2006;3(11):e442
Hex N, et al. Estimating the current and future costs of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in the United Kingdom, including direct health costs and indirect societal and productivity costs. Diabetic Medicine. 2012;29(7):855–862