422 Million Worldwide Living with Diabetes, Says WHO Report

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Updated: April 6, 2016

With the approach of World Health Day 2016 on April 7, the World Health Organization released its Global Report on Diabetes 2016 which has presented some alarming figures in the amount of persons living with diabetes.  According to the report, some thirty six years ago there were one hundred and eight million diabetic adults; that figure has risen to four hundred and twenty two million adults with obesity or being overweight considered the major contributing factor to the disease.  The rising health concern is responsible for one point five million deaths in 2012 while the health issue of having a higher than normal blood glucose level has led to an additional two point two million deaths bringing it to a total of three point seven million deaths with almost half occurring before the age of 70. Diabetes is a serious and chronic disease that comes about when the pancreas proves unable to produce enough insulin thus there is no regulation of the blood sugar or glucose or if the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.  With such high numbers of diabetic persons around the world, the Global Report states that there are substantial economic loss to people who are ailing from the disease as well as their family members, the country’s health system and by extension the national economies as it bores medical expenses, loss of work and wages. As it relates to management of the disease, the report says that primary health-care practitioners in low-income countries do not have access to the basic technologies needed to help people with diabetes properly manage their disease.  The report added, quote, “The lack of access to affordable insulin remains a key impediment to successful treatment and results in needless complications and premature deaths. Insulin and oral hypoglycaemic agents are reported as generally available in only a minority of low-income countries. Moreover, essential medicines critical to gaining control of diabetes, such as agents to lower blood pressure and lipid levels, are frequently unavailable in low and middle-income countries.”  End of quote.  We will have more on this report in our subsequent reports.