DIABETES - The Facts

There are currently more than 194 million people with diabetes worldwide. If nothing is done to slow the epidemic, the number will exceed 333 million by 2025.

According to the IDF Diabetes Atlas 2nd edition, in 2003 the five countries with the largest numbers of persons with diabetes were India (35.5 million), China (23.8 million), the United States (16 million), Russia (9.7 million) and Japan (6.7 million).

In 2003, the five countries with the highest diabetes prevalence in the adult population were Nauru (30.2 %), The United Arab Emirates (20.1 %), Qatar (16%), Bahrain (14.9%), and Kuwait (12.8%).

At least 50% of all people with diabetes are unaware of their condition. In some countries this figure may rise to 80%.

Diabetes is the fourth main cause of death in most developed countries.

Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness and visual impairment in adults in developed countries.

Diabetes is the most common cause of amputation which is not the result of an accident.

The devastating complications of diabetes, such as blindness, kidney failure and heart disease, are imposing a huge burden on healthcare services. It is estimated that diabetes accounts for between 5% and 10% of a nation's health budget.

There is conclusive evidence that good control of blood glucose levels can substantially reduce the risk of developing complications and slow their progression in all types of diabetes. The management of high blood pressure and raised blood lipids (fats) is equally important. In all societies, better control of these parameters would contribute to a substantial improvement of quality of life.

Sources:
Diabetes Atlas, second edition, International Diabetes Federation, 2003.
Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease: Time to Act, International Diabetes Federation, 2001
World Health Organisation Diabetes Unit - www.who.int/diabetes
Diabetes around the world, International Diabetes Federation, 1998.
Cost-effective Approaches to Diabetes Care and Prevention, International Diabetes Federation, 2003