Diabetes evidence demands real action from the UN Summit on Non-communicable diseases
New Diabetes Atlas figures released today by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) confirm that the diabetes epidemic continues to worsen.
Data from global studies demonstrates that the number of people with diabetes in 2011 has reached a staggering 366 million, 4.6 million deaths are due to diabetes and health care spending on diabetes has reached 465 billion USD.
The IDF launched the figures at the Lisbon meeting of EASD a week ahead of the UN Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) which has demonstrated that world leaders are finally facing up to the challenge posed by diabetes as well as cancer, heart and lung diseases.
As only the second UN Summit in history to deal with a health-related issue the global diabetes community is expecting international political leaders to sign-up to commitments, concrete actions and measurable targets to tackle NCD as they did at the ground-breaking High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS in 2001.
A key commitment demanded by leading diabetes experts meeting in Lisbon is for increased funding for research. In a joint commentary published in Diabetologia IDF President Jean Claude Mbanya and EASD Vice-President Andrew Boulton have warned: “Implementation of current knowledge will bring some improvements to NCD care and prevention, but further research is essential if we are to truly defeat these diseases.
“Indeed, without urgent research into improved care and prevention models, we stand little chance of meeting any long-term targets that arise from the Summit.”
Releasing the headline figures ahead of publication of the 5th edition of the Diabetes Atlas, And the Heads of Government and State who will meet in New York on the 19th and 20th September should be in no doubt that the diabetes is a massive challenge that they cannot afford to ignore any longer
The Atlas - based on the latest international data - demonstrates that diabetes remains on its relentlessly upwards trajectory.
Professor Mbanya said: “IDF’s latest Atlas data are proof indeed that diabetes is a massive challenge the world can no longer afford to ignore. In 2011 one person is dying from diabetes every seven seconds. The clock is ticking for the world’s leaders – we expect action from their meeting next week at the United Nation that will halt diabetes’ relentlessly upwards trajectory.”
“The socio-economic impact of not just diabetes, but all non-communicable diseases, is staggering,” said Professor Boulton, Vice-President of EASD.
“EASD fully supports the IDF and echoes the call of Prof. Mbanya’s for increased funds for medical research,” he added.
Research into strengthening health systems should include developing and evaluating approaches for building local health care capacity, as well as integrating diabetes care and services with primary health care services, management of chronic infectious diseases and maternal and child health.
The message to world leaders is that investing in research now will result in savings in the future, reducing the enormous and still growing burden of NCDs on their health systems.
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Notes to editors
For more information about the UN Summit on NCD’s, please visit http://ncdalliance.org/ 
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is the global advocate for more than 285 million people with diabetes worldwide. It represents over 200 diabetes associations in more than 160 countries. Its mission is to promote diabetes care, prevention and a cure worldwide. IDF is in official relations with the World Health Organization and associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information. Visit www.idf.org  for more information.
The European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) was founded in Montecatini, Italy in 1965. The Association is based on individual membership and embraces scientists, physicians, laboratory workers, nurses and students from all over the world who are interested in diabetes and related subjects. The mission of EASD is to promote excellence in diabetes care through research and education.
More information: www.easd.org 
International Diabetes Federation
Email: [email protected] 
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