It's World Diabetes Day today, and November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Chances are you know someone with the condition: 9 million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes. And lots of other people don't even know they suffer from the disease. According to estimates, as many as one million Canadians have diabetes and aren't aware of it. And now it appears the disease will afflict many more people around the world in the near future: a new report from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) states that at least one in 10 adults could have diabetes by the year 2030.
According to the IDF's 5th edition of the Diabetes Atlas, the number of people living with diabetes is set to rise from 366 million in 2011 to 552 million in 2030, if no urgent action is taken. If the predictions come true, Africa and other poor regions will be hit hard, with diabetes cases expected to increase by 90% in those regions in the next 20 years. Overall, the conclusions of the report are bleak. Jean Claude Mbanya, president of IDF, says "in every country and every community worldwide, we are losing the battle against this cruel and deadly disease".
Still, the battle goes on. The IDF says the key to defeating the disease is action and "partnership involving public, private and people". The United Nations General Assembly held its first-ever high-level meeting on non-communicable diseases in September, and issued a declaration that more people should have access to quality medications for diabetes by 2013. Today, the UN urged action, calling for "partnerships between governments and pharmaceutical companies to ensure access to affordable drugs in poorer countries".
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) diabetes unit, Dr. Gojka Roglic, says the projected future rise in diabetes cases is due to aging, combined with sedentary lifestyles and weight gain. So if you or someone you care about may be at risk of contracting diabetes, or is dealing with it now, check out these helpful tips from the Canadian Diabetes Association on staying active and eating healthy to manage or prevent the disease.