World Diabetes Day Falls on a Black Day this Year
Today the 14th of November is World Diabetes Day, but is there a reason to celebrate? If the battle against this condition were World War II, we would be neither at the end of the beginning nor the beginning of the end; we would be right smack in the middle of the Battle of France, with nothing but years of occupation ahead. To be sure, a war in which there is a casualty every six seconds is without a doubt a losing fight. You know those science fiction movies where every person you see could be infected with a mutant virus, or hosting an alien parasite? In a world where 383 million people have diabetes, chances are you have laid eyes on at least one diabetic person today.
And the future looks even bleaker. The International Diabetes Federation estimates that 592 million people will be diabetic by the year 2035; that’s a 55% increase. Cost-wise, $548 billions are spent each year on diabetes-related healthcare, a sum that is expected to reach $627 in the next 20 years. These numbers refer mostly to type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease. About 316 million people in the world have impaired glucose tolerance, a condition also called ‘pre-diabetes.’ Additionally, it is believe that approximately 175 million cases have yet to be diagnosed.
China and the United States have the most diabetics, with 98 and 24 million respectively, while the highest prevalence is seen in the Western Pacific, for example in Tokelau, Micronesia, and the Marshall Island. Other countries with high prevalence rates are Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar. Even though technological advances have made a range of medications and treatments available, the main culprit of this sad state of affairs is probably the people themselves. Lifestyle choices have a great influence on the onset and treatment diabetes, but John Q. Public seems to take his health for granted, even in places where health care resources are more accessible, such as the U.S. and Europe.
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