United Nations Observes World Diabetes Day

According to information provided by the International Diabetes Federation, “For the first time, a non-infectious disease has been seen as posing as serious a global health threat as infectious epidemics such as HIV/AIDS.”

World Diabetes Day was introduced by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization on Nov. 14, 1991 in response to the increased prevalence of diabetes worldwide and has been observed by more than 195 associations in 155 countries. Thanks to the passage of Resolution 61/225 by the United Nations General Assembly, as of this year, the day will also be jointly recognized as a United Nations Day in an effort to raise worldwide awareness of the disease and education about the complications associated with and ways to prevent diabetes.

Resolution 61/225

World mapIt will take years for the full effect of the resolution to be implemented which consists of; the annual observation of World Diabetes Day on Nov. 14, inviting all relevant worldwide organizations to observe the day in an appropriate way that will serve to raise awareness through education and the mass media, and encourage United Nations member states to develop national policies applicable to their specific health care systems while also upholding the international development goals.

In addition to the specific movements being implemented in the coming years, the recognition of the severity of the disease and the risks associated with it are a significant step toward regaining control of the disease itself. Furthermore, this United Nations Resolution ensures even greater awareness and visibility worldwide.

Achieving success

The central challenges of the resolution are overall prevention of disease and the prevention of complications associated with the disease.

Through the development of specific national policies, opportunities to measure the different societal and environmental factors as well as individual and lifestyle choices that drive the disease will increase.

“IDF recognizes that the diabetes world will need to be part of the solution and not simply be regarded as the problem,” according to information provided by IDF.

Providing education in self-care for people with diabetes is essential in achieving success. Additionally, raising awareness about diabetes in children is especially important as early diagnosis and complication intervention is critical in saving lives.

Top 10 Countries in Number of People With Diabetes (20-79 Years Age Group)
2007 2025
Country Number of Persons   Country Number of Persons
India 40.9 million   India 69.9 million
China 39.8 million   China 59.3 million
United States 19.2 million   United States 25.4 million
Russia 9.6 million   Brazil 17.6 million
Germany 7.4 million   Pakistan 11.5 million
Japan 7 million   Mexico 10.8 million
Pakistan 6.9 million   Russia 10.3 million
Brazil 6.9 million   Germany 8.1 million
Mexico 6.1 million   Egypt 7.6 million
Egypt 4.4 million   Bangladesh 7.4 million

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Rising concerns

IDF estimates that almost 250 million of the world’s adults are afflicted with the disease which annually claims as many lives as HIV/AIDS but receives much less attention on a global scale. Of those, 3.8 million adults die annually from diabetes-related causes.

Type 2 diabetes is increasing in younger populations effecting children and adolescents and now recognized as a public health issue due to global prevalence. In these cases, a direct link to childhood obesity has been uncovered.

Another population of concern are those with impaired glucose tolerance who are likely candidates for the development of type 2 diabetes. It is estimated that 308 million people ages 20-79 have impaired glucose tolerance and those numbers are likely to climb to 418 million by 2025.

Alarming Facts
  • Diabetes affects 246 million people worldwide and is expected to affect approximately 380 million by 2025.
  • Each year 7 million people develop diabetes.
  • Every 10 seconds a person dies from diabetes-related causes.
  • Every 10 seconds two people develop diabetes
  • Type 1 diabetes, which predominantly affects youth, is increasing at a rate of 3% per year.
  • About 70,000 children age 14 years and younger develop type 1 diabetes each year.
  • More than 60% of non-traumatic lower limb amputations occur in people with diabetes.
  • In 2002, an estimated 82,000 non-traumatic lower limb amputations were performed in people with diabetes.
  • The rate of amputation for people with diabetes is 10 times higher than for people without diabetes.

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Jennifer Hoydicz is a staff writer for O&P Business News.

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