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Diabetes mellitus

Diabetes mellitusDiabetes is a global health problem with devastating social and economic impact, especially in newly industrialized and developing nations. Type 2 Diabetes is poised to become one of the major challenges to public health in the 21st century and will result in a huge burden, through premature morbidity and mortality.

During the past century, improved nutrition, better hygiene, and the control of many infectious diseases have resulted in dramatically improved longevity, but these benefits have unmasked many age-related chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. With increasing longevity, changes in demographic age distributions, rising urbanization, obesity epidemic and further modernization, the number of people with type 2 Diabetes will likely to continue to rise.

More than 246 million people worldwide have diabetes and this figure may exceed 380 million by 2025. The majority of the new cases will be those with type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, it’s known that over the past 10 years that the prevalence of diabetes has increased over 50 per cent. The projection from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the US is that over the next 50 years diabetes will increase by another 165 per cent. More than 3.5 million people die every year from diabetes related causes. According to the International Diabetes Federation, five countries among the six highest diabetes prevalence rates in the world are Gulf countries. Despite all these shocking statistics and that fact that diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, renal failure, amputations, stroke and heart attack, awareness about the disease and its complications remains pitifully low.

In December 2006, the United Nations (UN) general assembly unanimously adopted a landmark resolution concerning World Diabetes Day, recognizing diabetes as a chronic debilitating and costly disease. This resolution makes Diabetes Day stronger than ever as a global event and makes significant increase in the opportunity to participate by government agencies and media. Governments of many countries pledged to place diabetes as top priority on their healthcare agenda and to mark World Diabetes Day with measures taken to prevent and control this epidemic.

This is great news, but the real goal of this is to raise the awareness of diabetes at various levels and people in the community. It is the responsibility of all in making diabetes a health priority now and every one can do what's in his capacity. Unless preventive measures are implemented as a matter of urgency, the impact of the indirect costs on the nations in this region, added to the direct treatment costs to the individuals and healthcare systems, may undermine these economies. Moreover, the loss of people of working age to diabetes will further undermine businesses and economy.

There is a way out as many complications of diabetes can be prevented and there is a wealth of convincing clinic evidence that diabetes type 2 could be delayed or prevented. Experience from around the world indicated that lifestyle-related measures, a low-cost investment strategy with substantial returns, could significantly prevent diabetes, reduce heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and improve quality of life. There is absolutely no excuse for not intervening immediately and no need to wait for further evidence as we know what needs to be done about diabetes.

Three important messages should be delivered in protecting people which are clear, simple and focused. First, diabetics and pre-diabetics could have no symptoms and earlier diagnosis with treatment can make an impact on preventing the complications. Second, those at risk could be easily identified before getting in the diabetes or pre-diabetes range and they could prevent or delay the disease. Third, those with established diagnosis of diabetes could have a long healthy life without any complications.

What is Diabetes mellitus? Diabetes melitus

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