Diabetes is a serious, chronic condition that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin (a hormone that regulates blood sugar, or glucose), or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Diabetes is an important public health problem, one of four priority noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) targeted for action by world leaders. Both the number of cases and the prevalence of diabetes have been steadily increasing over the past few decades.
Diabetes: Global Impact
According to a recent World Health Organization (WHO) report: Globally, an estimated 422 million adults were living with diabetes in 2014, compared to 108 million in 1980. The global prevalence (age-standardized) of diabetes has nearly doubled since 1980, rising from 4.7% to 8.5% in the adult population. This reflects an increase in associated risk factors such as being overweight or obese. Over the past decade, diabetes prevalence has risen faster in low- and middle-income countries than in high-income countries.
Diabetes caused 1.5 million deaths in 2012. Higher-than-optimal blood glucose caused an additional 2.2 million deaths, by increasing the risks of cardiovascular and other diseases. Forty-three percent of these 3.7 million deaths occur before the age of 70 years. The percentage of deaths attributable to high blood glucose or diabetes that occurs prior to age 70 is higher in low- and middle-income countries than in high-income countries.
Because sophisticated laboratory tests are usually required to distinguish between type 1 diabetes (which requires insulin injections for survival) and type 2 diabetes (where the body cannot properly use the insulin it produces), separate global estimates of diabetes prevalence for type 1 and type 2 do not exist. The majority of people with diabetes are affected by type 2 diabetes. This used to occur nearly entirely among adults, but now occurs in children too.
Diabetes in Canada:
According to a report published by Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA, 2011), Canada is at the “tipping point” in its response to diabetes. The total Canadian population with diabetes is estimated to be 2.7 million people (7.6%) in 2010, and is projected to rise to 4.2 million people (10.8%) by 2020. While the number of Canadians diagnosed with diabetes is already high, an additional almost one million are estimated to have the disease but do not know it. Currently, one in four Canadians lives with diabetes, undiagnosed diabetes, or prediabetes; this will rise to one in three by 2020 if current trends continue. Diabetes cost Canadian healthcare system and economy $11.7 billion in 2010; it is projected to cost $16 billion annually by 2020. Unless the government takes serious actions, diabetes threatens not only more Canadians, but also the viability of Canadian healthcare system and economic prosperity.
Diabetes in USA:
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) latest report: More than 100 million Americans are now living with diabetes or prediabetes. The report finds that as of 2015, 30.3 million Americans – 9.4 percent of the U.S. population –have diabetes. Another 84.1 million have prediabetes, a condition that if not treated often leads to type 2 diabetes within five years.
The report confirms that the rate of new diabetes diagnoses remains steady. However, the disease continues to represent a growing health problem: Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2015. The report also includes county-level data for the first time, and shows that some areas of the country bear a heavier diabetes burden than others.
Key findings from the National Diabetes Statistics Report
The report finds that: In 2015, an estimated 1.5 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed among people ages 18 and older. Nearly 1 in 4 four adults living with diabetes – 7.2 million Americans – didn’t know they had the condition. Only 11.6 percent of adults with prediabetes knew they had it. Rates of diagnosed diabetes increased with age. Among adults ages 18-44, 4 percent had diabetes. Among those ages 45-64 years, 17 percent had diabetes. And among those ages 65 years and older, 25 percent had diabetes. Rates of diagnosed diabetes were higher among American Indians/Alaska Natives (15.1 percent), non-Hispanic blacks (12.7 percent), and Hispanics (12.1 percent), compared to Asians (8.0 percent) and non-Hispanic whites (7.4 percent).
Diabetes and its complications bring about substantial economic loss to people with diabetes and their families, and to health systems and national economies through direct medical costs and loss of work and wages. While the major cost drivers are hospital and outpatient care, a contributing factor is the rise in cost for analogue insulins 1 which are increasingly prescribed despite little evidence that they provide significant advantages over cheaper human insulins.
A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Juvenile Diabetes… read more:
- Juvenile Diabetes: What is it?
- Juvenile Diabetes: Most Common Causes
- Juvenile Diabetes: Diagnosis age and Diagnosis
- Juvenile Diabetes: First Warning Signs and Symptoms
- Juvenile Diabetes: Possible Complications
- Juvenile Diabetes: A Genetic Disorder?
- Juvenile Diabetes: My Child has been Diagnosed. Now What?
- Juvenile Diabetes: Treatments
- Juvenile Diabetes: Dealing with feelings
- Juvenile Diabetes: Coping with it
- Diabetes Resources: General Diabetes Statistics
- Diabetes Resources: Gluxus’ Most Popular All About Diabetes Resources
- Diabetes Resources: Gluxus’ Proposed Most Important Links
- Juvenile Diabetes: Most Popular Support Groups
- Juvenile Diabetes: Most Popular Meetup Groups
- Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)
- American Diabetes Association (ADA)