One in every eleven adults has diabetes. And while diabetes is an equal opportunity disease, it does skew toward those with lower incomes. Three-quarters of people with diabetes live in countries that are primarily low or middle income. However, almost half of adults with diabetes are undiagnosed, which can lead to significant health problems or even death.
The History of World Diabetes Day
World Diabetes Day first began in 1991. It was created by The World Health Organization and the International Diabetes Foundation. The design was in response to growing concern about the impact of diabetes on global health.
In 2006 it became an official United Nations Day. In 2007 they adopted their current blue circle logo. The blue circle is the global symbol of the unity of the diabetes community in response to the disease’s epidemic status.
World Diabetes Day is now the world’s most extensive diabetes awareness campaign. Its message reaches over 1 billion people in over 160 countries. According to their website, World Diabetes Day’s goals are to:
-Be the platform to promote IDF advocacy efforts throughout the year.
-Be the global driver to promote the importance of taking coordinated and concerted actions to confront diabetes as a critical global health issue.
World Diabetes Day 2017
World Diabetes Day 2017 is focusing on women and diabetes. Gender roles, especially in less developed countries, can limit the access of women to proper healthcare and screening. Economic barriers also affect their ability to seek and receive treatment.
This makes diabetes the ninth leading cause of death in women, globally. And because two out of every five women who have diabetes are of childbearing age, the disease accounts for more difficulties in both conception and pregnancy.
Currently, over 199 million women live with diabetes, and that number will likely increase to 313 million by 2040. Coronary heart disease is ten times more likely in women with type 2 diabetes, and women with type 1 diabetes have a much higher risk of having a baby with congenital disabilities or even suffering a miscarriage.
What Can Be Done?
The International Diabetes Federation also believes that women can be key agents in improving the health of future generations. Since 70% of the cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented through healthy lifestyle changes, it is possible to stem the rising tide of cases of diabetes.
As mothers, women have significant influence over the health habits of their children, which means they can establish healthy lifestyles for their families. Starting children off on the right path is statistically significant because the majority of cases of premature death are related to behaviors that the individual adopted in adolescence. When women are given the tools to make good health choices for the young children in their families, they will be setting them up for continued success in the future.
For More Information
For more information on the world epidemic of diabetes, you can download a free copy of the International Diabetes Federation Atlas. The Atlas is a comprehensive, 140-page guide that covers the entire scope of diabetes research. After examining the data, it ends with a chapter on action items that can raise the global standard for care.
ILA hopes to be part of the solution by providing supplies and equipment that help make diabetes management more accessible to people of all abilities.