Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide, and there are several reasons
why it can be argued that diabetes is the biggest epidemic of the 21st century.
Firstly, the number of people living with diabetes has been increasing dramatically in recent years. According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), there were 537 million adults living with diabetes in 2021, and this number is expected to rise to 700 million by 2045
This represents a significant global health crisis, as the disease can lead to serious complications such as cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, blindness, and amputation.
Secondly, diabetes is a major contributor to the global burden of disease. The IDF estimates that diabetes caused 6.7 million deaths in 2021
, and the disease is a leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, and lower-limb amputation.
The economic impact of diabetes is also significant, with the disease costing an estimated $966 billion USD in healthcare expenditures in 2021
Thirdly, diabetes is a preventable and manageable disease, yet many people remain undiagnosed or struggle to manage their condition.
Lifestyle factors such as unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, and obesity are major risk factors for type 2 diabetes, and interventions such as education, screening, and access to affordable medications and care can help prevent and manage the disease.
However, many people do not have access to these resources, particularly in low- and middle-income countries where the burden of diabetes is highest.
The bottom line is diabetes represents a major global health crisis that is expected to continue to worsen in the coming years.
The disease is a leading cause of death, disability, and healthcare expenditures worldwide, and addressing the epidemic will require a concerted effort from governments, healthcare providers, and individuals to prevent and manage the disease.