|2012 sees a record increase in diabetes|
|Written by Allie Maher, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Monday, 26 November 2012 15:45|
The number of diabetes cases has hit a record this year — and half of those cases go undiagnosed.
According to the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF), 371 million people are living with diabetes — an increase of 5 million from last year. By 2030, the IDF estimates the number will reach 552 million cases.
In a press release earlier this year, the IDF called the growing prevalence of diabetes an “epidemic” and said if immediate action is not taken, by 2030 1 in 10 people will have the disease.
Diabetics have inadequate blood sugar control, which can lead to serious health problems. According to a recent Reuters article, the disease is associated with Western society since Type 2 diabetes is linked to obesity and lack of exercise.
However, the article also states diabetes is becoming more prevalent in poorer countries experiencing urbanization.
According to the IDF, at least 90 percent of diabetes cases are Type 2.
Dr. Jean Swearingen, medical director of Student Health Services, attributes the increase of diabetes to Type 2 diabetes to genetics, obesity, diet and lack of exercise.
“Type 2 diabetes has become more common worldwide as daily exercise has decreased and processed and higher-calorie, but less nutritious, foods have become more available,” Swearingen said.
The consequences of cases developing in poorer countries include limited health care and more undiagnosed cases. According to the recent Reuters article, less than a fifth of the diabetes cases in sub-Saharan Africa get diagnosed. If uncontrolled, the disease can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney disease, Swearingen said. According to the IDF, it can also lead to nerve damage and blindness.
The IDF states medicating those with the disease can be inconvenient, particularly in poorer countries where refrigeration is not readily available for those who take insulin.
Preventative measures can be taken to avoid the costly effects of diabetes. Swearingen said students should avoid obesity by eating a well-balanced, calorie-appropriate diet and exercising regularly.
The IDF hopes to make preventative measures a worldwide effort by including the chronic condition in the next set of global development goals among the new U.N. Millennium Development Goals in 2015.
A press release from earlier this year states they plan to advocate healthier living through cooperation with the private sector. Actions will include producing healthier foods, responsibly marketing food and beverages to children, promoting workplace wellness, and improving access and affordability of medicine.
Those interested in on-campus resources for a healthier lifestyle can contact the Student Fitness Center and nutrition consultations from Health Promotions and Wellness. For more information on how to live healthier, visit the Health and Promotion website at Wellness.IllinoisState.edu.