Diabetes: Why Action Is Urgent

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Diabetes, A Public Health Issue

Contrary to popular belief, diabetes is not a disease of the “rich”. Most people with diabetes live, or will live, in countries in the lower or middle range of wealth. The epidemic is rampant in the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Many countries in these regions are experiencing rapid economic development and significant urbanization and have populations that are aging and whose eating habits are changing and physical activity decreasing. These lifestyle changes have contributed to an increase in obesity and in making diabetes a significant cause of death worldwide. In all countries where it is undiagnosed or poorly controlled, diabetes can cause major health complications and early mortality. It is estimated that more than 5 million deaths were attributable in 2013 to diabetes, or 8.4% of global mortality for all causes for those 20 to 791. The financial burden from diabetes on governments is heavy, amounting to nearly $ 548 billion in healthcare costs, or 11% of total global expenditures in 20131.

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