Developing countries


Women with diabetes: facing double discrimination?

Being a woman and having diabetes can mean double discrimination for women all over the world. Even more so in many developing countries, where women, whether they have diabetes or not, still have to fight harder than ever to achieve equal rights and equal opportunities. This article, however, will not offer a helpless victim's point of view.

Fetal origins of diabetes in developing countries

There is a rapidly rising epidemic of Type 2 diabetes throughout the world. It is particularly severe in developing countries. In 1995, 62% of people with diabetes in the world lived in developing countries. By 2025 this is predicted to rise to more than 75%. In India there are an estimated 25 million people with diabetes, and this will rise to more than 60 million by 2025. One in five people with diabetes in the world will then be Indian. A parallel rise in ischaemic heart disease (IHD) is also projected. Other developing countries will be similarly affected.

Lighting up diabetes in the Asian young: the ASDIAB study

Diabetes is increasing in epidemic proportions worldwide. The number of people with diabetes is currently estimated to amount to nearly 180 million in the over 140 IDF member countries. While a relatively large number of studies have so far been carried out into the causes and development of diabetes mellitus in the Caucasian populations, up until recently, data on the aetiology and pathogenesis of the condition in the Asian population was still relatively scarce. The Asian Young Diabetes (ASDIAB) Study, the most significant results of which are revealed below, was intended to fill this gap.

Poverty versus genes: the social context of Type 2 diabetes

Together with its 'twin sister', childhood obesity, Type 2 diabetes is spreading among young people around the world. This constitutes a serious public health problem; by their 30s, generations of young people will have been living with Type 2

IDF and WHO initiatives to put diabetes on the health agenda in Africa

Although the exact magnitude of the problem in Africa is not well understood, diabetes is a serious threat to public health throughout the continent. In 2003, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) predicted that by 2010, diabetes prevalence in Africa would increase by around 95%. Ignoring diabetes could lead to the breakdown of the fragile health systems in Africa, which are already overwhelmed by communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDS.

Prevention of diabetes throughout an obesogenic world

Overweight is an important risk factor for noncommunicable diseases in general and diabetes in particular. There is presently a global epidemic of overweight. A recent large study found a 5.6% growth in obesity in the United States in 2001, and a massive 74% increase since 1991. Twenty one percent of American adults are obese. The prevalence of diabetes, which correlates with obesity has risen 61% in the US since 1990. Diabetes rose 8% over 2000-01 to nearly 8% of the population. The situation is not much better in many developing countries.

The obesity campaign view of diabetes prevention

Obesity is an epidemic accelerating out of control. It is the driving force behind an equally dramatic explosion of Type 2 diabetes, both in adults and now alarmingly among children. Clearly, strategies aimed at improving the prevention and management of obesity must be developed. Not confined to affluent nations, the obesity epidemic imposes a double burden on countries where people are still struggling to overcome generations of chronic undernutrition. Economic progress in developing countries heralds changes in

Identifying the risk factors: diabetes in Asian Indians

As prevalence of diabetes increases globally, developing countries such as India face the massive burden of a diabetes epidemic in the urban population. Migrant Asians from the Indian subcontinent are known to have a higher prevalence of Type 2 diabetes than the host populations and other migrant ethnic groups. Studies conducted in several Asian countries in the last decade highlighted a rising prevalence of Type 2 diabetes in the urban population. The prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) is also on the rise, indicating a possible further increase in diabetes in the future.

The diabetes epidemic in full flight: forecasting the future

Were there warnings that diabetes would become the epidemic of the 21st century? In the early 1970s, Peter Bennett and co-workers reported on the extraordinarily high prevalence of Type 2 diabetes in Pima Native Americans. In 1975, we reported the high rates of diabetes in the Micronesian Nauruans in the Pacific. Similar findings followed in other Pacific and Asian island populations. They all indicated the potential for a future global epidemic.

Diabetes Action Now: WHO and IDF working together to raise awareness worldwide

Even among policy makers at an international and national level, awareness about the public health and clinical importance of diabetes remains low. Diabetes is widely perceived as a condition of low importance to the poorer populations in the world. In the low- and middle-income countries, the impact of diabetes is largely unrecognized. Yet the world is facing a dramatic rise in diabetes prevalence, most of which will occur in the low- and middle-income countries.