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This Disease Kills Every 7 Seconds: A “Massive Challenge” to Healthcare

It’s serious enough that the United Nations is meeting about it next week—only the second time the UN has ever organized a meeting specifically focusing on disease.

What is this “massive challenge” to healthcare systems around the world? Diabetes. The latest figures show 366 million people worldwide now suffer from diabetes, most with Type 2 (linked to bad diet, obesity and little to no exercise). image

One third of a billion people... with no slowdown in sight as more cultures are developing Western lifestyles.

“Diabetics have inadequate blood sugar control, which can lead to serious complications like heart disease and stroke, damage to the kidneys or nerves, and to blindness. Worldwide deaths from the disease are now running at 4.6 million a year.” source:

The latest figures just released will appear in the upcoming edition of the Diabetes Atlas issued by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). Back in October of 2009, when the previous edition was published, the group estimated that just 285 million people would be diagnosed with diabetes in 2010.

"The IDF's latest Atlas data are proof indeed that diabetes is a massive challenge the world can no longer afford to ignore. In 2011 one person is dying from diabetes every seven seconds," said IDF President Jean Claude Mbanya.
What We’re Spending Worldwide:
  • Annual healthcare spending on diabetes: $465 billion
  • Sales of diabetes medications: $35 billion (could reach $48 billion by 2015)
The NCD Alliance, an advocacy group focused on non-communicable diseases, wants to spend $9 billion a year on tobacco control, diet education and basic treatments in an effort to avert tens of millions of untimely deaths.

Governments so far have brushed aside suggestions of more spending, despite the facts and figures above illustrating how much we are already spending on treatments.

What’s your take? Do you have family or friends suffering from diabetes? What should be done?

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