Facts about di­a­betes from World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion

Kyiv Post - - Business Focus - BY KYIV POST More in­for­ma­tion is avail­able on the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion web­site at http://who.int/en/

The num­ber of peo­ple with di­a­betes has risen from 108 mil­lion in 1980 to 422 mil­lion in 2014. The global preva­lence of di­a­betes among adults over 18 years of age has risen from 4.7 per­cent in 1980 to 8.5% in 2014. Di­a­betes preva­lence has been ris­ing more rapidly in mid­dle- and low-in­come coun­tries. Di­a­betes is a ma­jor cause of blind­ness, kid­ney fail­ure, heart at­tacks, stroke and lower limb am­pu­ta­tion. In 2015, an es­ti­mated 1.6 mil­lion deaths were di­rectly caused by di­a­betes. An­other 2.2 mil­lion deaths were at­trib­ut­able to high blood glu­cose in 2012**. Al­most half of all deaths at­trib­ut­able to high blood glu­cose oc­cur be­fore the age of 70 years. WHO projects that di­a­betes will be the sev­enth lead­ing cause of death in 2030 (1). Healthy diet, reg­u­lar phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, main­tain­ing a nor­mal body weight and avoid­ing to­bacco use are ways to pre­vent or de­lay the on­set of type 2 di­a­betes. Di­a­betes can be treated and its con­se­quences avoided or de­layed with diet, phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, med­i­ca­tion and reg­u­lar screen­ing and treat­ment for com­pli­ca­tions.

What are con­se­quences of di­a­betes?

Over time, di­a­betes can dam­age the heart, blood ves­sels, eyes, kid­neys, and nerves. Adults with di­a­betes have a twoto three-fold in­creased risk of heart at­tacks and strokes. Com­bined with re­duced blood flow, neu­ropa­thy (nerve dam­age) in the feet in­creases the chance of foot ul­cers, in­fec­tion and even­tual need for limb am­pu­ta­tion. 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. 2.6% of global blind­ness can be at­trib­uted to di­a­betes (3). Di­a­betes is among the lead­ing causes of kid­ney fail­ure.

How can bur­den of di­a­betes be re­duced?

Sim­ple life­style mea­sures have been shown to be ef­fec­tive in pre­vent­ing or de­lay­ing the on­set of type 2 di­a­betes.

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; eat a healthy diet, avoid­ing sugar and sat­u­rated fats in­take; and avoid to­bacco use – smok­ing in­creases the risk of di­a­betes and car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases.

Early di­ag­no­sis can be ac­com­plished through rel­a­tively in­ex­pen­sive test­ing of blood sugar.

Treat­ment of di­a­betes in­volves diet and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity along with low­er­ing blood glu­cose and the lev­els of other known risk fac­tors that dam­age blood ves­sels. To­bacco use ces­sa­tion is also im­por­tant to avoid com­pli­ca­tions.

In­ter­ven­tions that are both cost-sav­ing and fea­si­ble in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries in­clude: blood glu­cose con­trol, par­tic­u­larly in type 1 di­a­betes. 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; and foot care.

Other cost-sav­ing in­ter­ven­tions in­clude:

screen­ing and treat­ment for retinopa­thy (which causes blind­ness) blood lipid con­trol (to reg­u­late choles­terol lev­els) screen­ing for early signs of di­a­betes-re­lated kid­ney dis­ease and treat­ment.

WHO's-- re­sponse

WHO aims to stim­u­late and sup­port the adop­tion of ef­fec­tive mea- sures for the sur­veil­lance, pre­ven­tion and con­trol of di­a­betes and its com­pli­ca­tions, par­tic­u­larly in low and mid­dle-in­come coun­tries. To this end, WHO: pro­vides sci­en­tific guide­lines for the pre­ven­tion of ma­jor non­com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases in­clud­ing di­a­betes; de­vel­ops norms and stan­dards for di­a­betes di­ag­no­sis and care; builds aware­ness on the global epi­demic of di­a­betes, mark­ing World Di­a­betes Day on Nov. 14; and & con­ducts sur­veil­lance of di­a­betes and its risk fac­tors. The WHO Global Re­port on Di­a­betes pro­vides an over­view of the di­a­betes bur­den, the in­ter­ven­tions avail­able to pre­vent and man­age di­a­betes, and rec­om­men­da­tions for gov­ern­ments, in­di­vid­u­als, the civil so­ci­ety and the pri­vate sec­tor.

The WHO Global Strat­egy on Diet, Phys­i­cal Ac­tiv­ity and Health com­ple­ments WHO's di­a­betes work by fo­cus­ing on pop­u­la­tion-wide ap­proaches to pro­mote healthy diet and reg­u­lar phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, thereby re­duc­ing the grow­ing global prob­lem of over­weight peo­ple and obe­sity.

Re­searcher Olivier Blan­son Henke­mans, from TNO the Nether­lands Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Ap­plied Sci­en­tific Re­search, helps Ruben van As, 7, to log on to play with Char­lie Robot at the Gelderse Vallei hos­pi­tal in Ede, the Nether­lands, on June 28, 2016. Cheeky Ruben is just seven and learn­ing to read. But thanks to his new knee-high buddy Char­lie robot he can ex­pertly mea­sure his blood sugar and count car­bo­hy­drates in a glass of milk. (AFP)

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