The Most Significant Facts and Figures about Diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic disease that has become a growing concern worldwide. Here are the most significant facts and figures that you should know about it.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects how blood sugar, in the form of glucose, is regulated by the body. Here, insulin plays a key role. As the hormone that regulates sugar, insulin prevents sudden spikes in the body’s glucose level — at least for healthy individuals.
However, for those with diabetes, the sugar regulation process in the body is impaired. This impairment commonly results in hyperglycemia or high blood sugar levels, which is a typical sign of poorly controlled diabetes. Over time, this leads to serious problems in the body’s systems, nerves, and blood vessels. Because of this, diabetes requires long-term management and regular monitoring.
If you’re not familiar yet with diabetes, we compiled some of the most notable facts and figures about diabetes that you should know.
Diabetes around the world
Diabetes is a growing concern all over the world. More people than ever are at risk of developing diabetes during their adulthood. If not controlled, diabetes can lead to even higher mortality rates in the near future.
• From 108 million in 1980, the estimated number of people living with diabetes rose to 422 million, representing more than 1200% increase over the course of 34 years.1
• In 2015, diabetes directly caused around 1.6 million deaths. In 2012, however, 2.2 million deaths were attributable to high blood sugar levels, indicating that improper management of diabetes and glucose levels can be truly deadly.1
• Diabetes has been known to increase much more rapidly in middle- and low-income countries. This could be due to lack of access to affordable health care services, poor diet, and low awareness about the disease.1
How common is diabetes in the Philippines?
Zooming in a little closer to home, we will find that diabetes, as much as it is common globally, is also widespread in the Philippines. A Science Direct article written by Gerry H. Tan, M.D., states that cases of Type 2 diabetes are increasing at an alarming rate in Asian countries particularly here in the Philippines.
Here are some facts you need to be aware of:
• Data in 2017 show that there are 3.7 million cases of Type 2 diabetes in the Philippines.3
• An astonishing 1.7 million people with Type 2 diabetes remain undiagnosed.2
• The Philippines’ Department of Health cites diabetes as one of the leading causes of death in the country.
• According to Diabetes.org, out of all the diabetes cases in the world, 8.9% of patients are Filipinos.
What the future holds
From currently 425 million people living with diabetes, it is predicted that there will be 629 million diabetes patients 27 years from now.
However, to counter this, several international organizations such as the International Diabetes Foundation, World Health Organization, the American Diabetes Association, and many others, are at the forefront of diabetes advocacy and awareness campaigns. Backed by smart and affordable health care policies and programs and the push for a healthier lifestyle, these can help reduce diabetes cases around the world.