- Diabetes currently affects over 366 million people worldwide
- Prevalence se to grow to 552 million by 2030
- Every 10 seconds two people develop diabetes
- Every 10 seconds a person dies from diabetes-related causes
Diabetes is the most
common human endocrine disease and the term
covers a group of metabolic disorders whose
central feature is elevated blood glucose,
or hyperglycemia. While treatments have advanced in recent years, severe complications still sadly exist. The current difficulties in managing and treating diabetes can result in a deterioration of mulitple tissue types, and severe complications can include: diabetic retinopathy and blindness, leg/foot ulcers and amputations, neuropathies, kidney failure, cardiovascular disease and heart attacks, and strokes.
Diabetes can be divided
into two main patient types:
• Type 1 diabetes,
or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM),
usually appears before or during puberty.
It is caused by the auto-immune destruction
of insulin-producing pancreatic cells and
is treated by insulin injections and dietary
control. IDDM is a life-threatening disease
but almost all cases are successfully diagnosed
and treated in the developed world.
• Type 2 diabetes, or non-insulin-dependent diabetes
mellitus (NIDDM), typically appears after
the age of 30. The disease is caused by an
inability to secrete sufficient insulin or
to respond adequately to it and is treated
by dietary control, exercise, oral anti-diabetic
drugs and insulin, either alone or in combination.
NIDDM is not a life-threatening disease, unless
ignored or left untreated in the long term,
and 40-50% of those with Type 2 diabetes are
The recent increase in prevalence
of Type 2 diabetes among younger people, often
accompanied by obesity, is a major source
of concern for public health authorities as
it implies significant increases in long-term
healthcare costs. There is no cure for either
IDDM or NIDDM and the effective treatment
for both types hinges upon the tight regulation
of blood glucose levels.
Sources: International Diabetes Federation, WHO & American Diabetes Association