Diabetes is one of the top 10 most significant diseases of the developed world and growing at almost epidemic proportions.
More than 170 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes, a figure which is expected to double by the year 2030.
Approximately 5%–10% of cases in North America are type 1, with the remainder being type 2. This split changes for different countries, but the reasons why this is so are not yet understood. There has been a 61% increase in American diabetics since 1990.
The incidence of type 1 (juvenile) diabetes has increased by 37% over the last 10 years in Australia, according to the JDRF, and increases have been seen in other developed countries.
With the expected increase in diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes in children, pressure on health care services is expected. For further information on health care in your area, check on the DiabetesUK website for the State of the Nations 2006' report which shows the overall state of endocrine services across the UK.
Since 1996 the number of individuals diagnosed has increased from 1.4 million to 1.8 million. By the end of this decade it is estimated that the number could increase to three million.
Whilst most of these cases will be Type 2 diabetes, attributable to an ageing population and rapidly rising numbers of overweight and obese peoples, it inevitably puts a further strain on already strained health care resources.
Official figures from 2005 indicate that 20.8 million people—7 percent of the population—have diabetes. This is divided between those that have been officially diagnosed (14.6 million) and 6.2 million undiagnosed individuals.
For younger people (aged 20 years or younger), about 176,500 people have diabetes. This means that about one in every 400 to 600 children and adolescents has type 1 or juvenile diabetes.
Adults with diabetes have heart disease death rates about 2 to 4 times higher than adults without it.
The risk for stroke is 2 to 4 times higher among diabetics.
About 73% of adults with diabetes experience high blood pressure .
Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 20-74 years.
(Figures according to National Diabetes Fact Sheet 2003’s National Estimates on Diabetes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC))
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