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World diabetes day

November 14, 2020

Diabetes mellitus, more simply called diabetes, is a serious, long-term (or ‘chronic’) condition that occurs when there are raised levels of glucose in a person’s blood because their body cannot produce any or enough of the hormone insulin, or cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.

Insulin is an essential hormone produced in the pancreas. It allows glucose from the bloodstream to enter the body’s cells where that glucose is converted into energy. Insulin is also essential for the metabolism of protein and fat. A lack of insulin, or the inability of cells to respond to it, leads to high levels of blood glucose (hyperglycaemia), which is the clinical indicator of diabetes.

Since 2000, the estimated prevalence of diabetes (type 1 and type 2 combined, both diagnosed and undiagnosed) in people aged 20–79 years has risen from 151 million (4.6% of the global population at the time) to 463 million (9.3%) today.

Reference:  IDF Diabetes atlas, Ninth Edition 2019