November is the diabetes awareness month, and November 14th is the World Diabetes Day, in honor of Frederick Grant Banting, a Nobel laureate noted as the co-discoverer of insulin.
This date is the perfect occasion to call attention to the enormous social and economic impact of diabetes on a global scale. In SocialDiabetes we want to do our bit and share some relevant data.
Did you know that…
- The World Diabetes Day was established in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The goals was to raise awareness on the increase of diabetes and the need to focus on prevention to avoid complications and improve the quality of life of people with diabetes.
- Currently, more than 400 million people have diabetes worldwide, almost 9% of the adult population. This figure continues to grow and it is projected to reach 600 million by 2040.
- Globally, for every 8 dollars that people spend on health 1 dollar is spent by people with diabetes, adding up to $727 billion total. Diabetes is a huge expense for both individual pockets and healthcare providers.
- Before insulin was discovered and its therapeutic use successfully implemented in the 1920s, diabetes had a very high mortality rate. Insulin therapy is still to this day one of the greatest advances in the history of medicine.
- In Spain, 5.3 million people live with diabetes, making it one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in the country.
- According to the World Health Organization, more than 50% of people with diabetes do not actually know that they have the disease. It is estimated that by 2035 1 in 10 adults will suffer from diabetes. It would thus become the seventh cause of death worldwide.
This year the theme of World Diabetes Day is Women and Diabetes – our right to a healthy future. Why this topic?
The truth is that women are especially vulnerable to diabetes, since traditional gender roles and social and family dynamics affect access to health services, especially in relation to prevention and early diagnosis.
In addition, it has been proven that women are fundamental when adopting healthy habits that impact family members. According to the International Diabetes Federation, “up to 70% of cases of type 2 diabetes could be prevented with healthier behaviours, and 70% of premature deaths in adults are caused by behaviours initiated during adolescence, that is, in a time in which mothers have a powerful influence on children’s eating habits”.
It is therefore very important to shed light on the situation of women, for whom the burden of diabetes is unique due to their overall situation of inequality and because the disease can affect both the mother and her unborn child. The positive impact of focusing on women is in turn exponential, since it has effects on the family but also on the society as a whole, creating a virtual circle that is necessary to successfully address the problem of diabetes.
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