Thursday, June 4, 2009


The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 180 million people worldwide have diabetes. This number is likely to more than double by 2030.
In 2005, an estimated 1.1 million people died from diabetes.1
Almost 80% of diabetes deaths occur in low and middle-income countries.
Almost half of diabetes deaths occur in people under the age of 70 years; 55% of diabetes deaths are in women.
WHO projects that diabetes deaths will increase by more than 50% in the next 10 years without urgent action. Most notably, diabetes deaths are projected to increase by over 80% in upper-middle income countries between 2006 and 2015.
Over time, diabetes can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves.
Diabetic retinopathy is an important cause of blindness, and occurs as a result of long-term accumulated damage to the small blood vessels in the retina. After 15 years of diabetes, approximately 2% of people become blind, and about 10% develop severe visual impairment.
Diabetic neuropathy is damage to the nerves as a result of diabetes, and affects up to 50% of people with diabetes. Although many different problems can occur as a result of diabetic neuropathy, common symptoms are tingling, pain, numbness, or weakness in the feet and hands.
Combined with reduced blood flow, neuropathy in the feet increases the chance of foot ulcers and eventual limb amputation.
Diabetes is among the leading causes of kidney failure. 10-20% of people with diabetes die of kidney failure.
Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. 50% of people with diabetes die of cardiovascular disease (primarily heart disease and stroke).
The overall risk of dying among people with diabetes is at least double the risk of their peers without diabetes.
Diabetes and its complications impose significant economic consequences on individuals, families, health systems and countries.
WHO estimates that over the next 10 years (2006-2015), China will lose $ 558 billion in foregone national income due to heart disease, stroke and diabetes alone.
Without urgent action, diabetes-related deaths will increase by more than 50% in the next 10 years.
To help prevent type 2 diabetes and its complications, people should:
Achieve and maintain healthy body weight.
Be physically active - at least 30 minutes of regular, moderate-intensity activity on most days. More activity is required for weight control.
Early diagnosis can be accomplished through relatively inexpensive blood testing.
Treatment of diabetes involves lowering blood glucose and the levels of other known risk factors that damage to blood vessels. Tobacco cessation is also important to avoid complications.
Interventions that are both cost saving and feasible in developing countries include:
Moderate blood glucose control. People with type 1 diabetes require insulin; people with type 2 diabetes can be treated with oral medication, but may also require insulin;
Blood pressure control;
Foot care.
Other cost saving interventions include:
Screening for retinopathy (which causes blindness);
Blood lipid control (to regulate cholesterol levels);
Screening for early signs of diabetes-related kidney disease.
These measures should be supported by a healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use.

1 comment:

tahera said...

Thank you for mentioning few facts about diabetes and neuropathy. Much appreciated.