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By Allianz Worldwide Care | November 20, 2015
The burden of diabetes is increasing globally, particularly in developing countries. Currently 1 in 11 adults (415 million people) have diabetes, by 2040 this figure is predicted to rise to 1 in 10 adults. The causes are complex, but the increase is in large part due to a rapid increase in obesity levels and physical inactivity.
To mark WDD the World Health Organisation (WHO) has called for greater awareness and action to turn the growing tide of the global diabetes epidemic.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.
There are two major forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes which is characterised by a lack of insulin production and type 2 diabetes which results from the body's ineffective use of insulin. Type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1, accounting for approximately 90% of all diabetes worldwide.
Although type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, steps can be taken which can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Prevention of type 2 diabetes
Simple lifestyle measures have been shown to be effective in preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes. The IDF estimates that up to 70% of type 2 diabetes cases could be prevented through lifestyle interventions, including:
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Source: World Health Organisation
International Diabetes Foundation