There is an emerging global epidemic of diabetes that can be traced back to rapid increases in overweight, obesity and physical inactivity.
Total deaths from diabetes are projected to rise by more than 50% in the next 10 years. Most notably, they are projected to increase by over 80% in upper-middle income countries.
Type 1 diabetes is characterized by a lack of insulin production and type 2 diabetes results from the body’s ineffective use of insulin
Type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1 diabetes, and accounts for around 90% of all diabetes worldwide.
Reports of type 2 diabetes in children – previously rare – have increased worldwide. In some countries, it accounts for almost half of newly diagnosed cases in children and adolescents.
A third type of diabetes is gestational diabetes. This type is characterized by hyperglycaemia, or raised blood sugar, which is first recognized during pregnancy.
In 2005, 1.1 million people died from diabetes. The full impact is much larger, because although people may live for years with diabetes, their cause of death is often recorded as heart diseases or kidney failure.
80% of diabetes deaths are now occurring in low- and middle-income countries.
Lack of awareness about diabetes, combined with insufficient access to health services, can lead to complications such as blindness, amputation and kidney failure.