10 facts about diabetes
The number of people with diabetes has nearly quadrupled since 1980. Prevalence is increasing worldwide, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. The causes are complex, but the rise is due in part to increases in the number of people who are overweight, including an increase in obesity, and in a widespread lack of physical activity.
Diabetes of all types can lead to complications in many parts of the body and increase the risk of dying prematurely. In 2012 diabetes was the direct cause of 1.5 million deaths globally. A large proportion of diabetes and its complications can be prevented by a healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use.
In April 2016, WHO published the Global report on diabetes, which calls for action to reduce exposure to the known risk factors for type 2 diabetes and to improve access to and quality of care for people with all forms of diabetes.
Fact 1: About 422 million people worldwide have diabetes.The prevalence of diabetes has been steadily increasing for the past 3 decades, mirroring an increase in the prevalence of obesity and overweight people. In particular, the prevalence of diabetes is growing most rapidly in low- and middle-income countries.
Fact 2: Diabetes is 1 of the leading causes of death in the worldIn 2012 diabetes was the direct cause of 1.5 million deaths.
An additional 2.2 million deaths were caused in the same year by higher-than-optimal levels of blood glucose, through an increased risk of cardiovascular and other diseases. Even when blood glucose levels are not high enough to warrant a diagnosis of diabetes damage can occur to the body.The risk of cardiovascular disease rises as blood glucose levels rise.