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Epidemiological studies lay the ground for Syrian diabetes campaign

As in many countries of the world, Syria, with its 16 million inhabitants, has witnessed a tremendous change in food habits and lifestyle within the last few decades. This has been reflected in the rise of metabolic diseases in general and diabetes in particular. Three studies have shown that the prevalence of diabetes in Syria is probably higher than published reports have claimed. One of the aims of the Syrian National Diabetes Programme, adopted in 1995, was to assess the national situation by carrying out epidemiological studies.

The next step: the diabetic foot - costs, prevention and future policies

Of all the serious and costly complications affecting individuals with diabetes – heart disease, kidney failure and blindness – foot complications take the greatest toll.

Insulin therapy: current views and new options

Since the discovery of insulin, treatment for diabetes has come a long way towards saving the lives of those affected. There are now many options which make diabetes care more convenient and comfortable. People with diabetes have become more and more responsible for their own care through the development of new knowledge and new possibilities. This article presents a brief commentary on what is now available in diabetes insulin treatment.

The case for and against screening for type 2 diabetes

The decision to screen for diabetes may seem an easy one to make as the condition is common, expensive, chronic and with a prognosis highly dependent on the correct treatment. On the other hand, there is a general lack of adequate screening tools, lack of knowledge regarding appropriate treatment, uncertainties regarding economic consequences and a total lack of knowledge regarding the psychological consequences of screening. Studies focusing on these issues should, therefore, be performed before systematic screening can be recommended.

Diabetes education with a Bali flavour

Diabetes is on the increase in Indonesia, with prevalence rates now at 4.6% compared with 2% to 3% just five years ago. This means that some four million people throughout Indonesia, from Sumatra to Irian Jaya, currently have the condition. Bali, an Indonesian island with three million inhabitants, has trained 86 diabetes educators since 1996. The educators, who come from all over the island, are expected to be able to return to their local areas and spread their knowledge about diabetes.

Diabetes guidelines for kids

Diabetes is one of the most common long-term progressive diseases of childhood. In many parts of the world Type 1 diabetes in children is increasing by 3% to 5% each year. Type 2 diabetes is also declaring itself in younger and younger age groups. These children have a lifetime of diabetes ahead of them. In an effort to contribute to an improvement in the care and quality of life of young people with diabetes, the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD) recently published comprehensive consensus guidelines.

Urban India: a breeding ground for diabetes

The global prevalence of diabetes is set to double over the next 25 years. Developing countries like India, already top of the diabetes league, are expected to shoulder much of this burden. Epidemiological studies show that the prevalence of diabetes is particularly high in urban areas in India. Cities are also home to a large pool of people with a great risk of developing diabetes in the future.

A challenge of acculturation: the Ethiopian community in Israel

For most Ethiopian immigrants arriving in Israel, diabetes was an unknown illness. However, current studies show that its prevalence is now high in this population. The diagnosis and management of diabetes among Ethiopian immigrants present a real challenge of acculturation. In response to this challenge, a community-based project called Tene Briut was created. Tene Briut promotes culturally-appropriate prevention, detection and management activities, with a major contribution from Ethiopian health professionals and community leaders.

Argentina's crisis triggers health emergency - The diabetes community's response

Diabetes affects an estimated 3.3% of the adult population in Argentina. For many of these people, insulin is a life-sustaining drug. Without uninterrupted access to insulin, people dependent on this drug for survival face the real possibility of death, some within days. The collapse of the reimbursement system and speculation have caused grave interruptions in the supply of medicines such as insulin and now an emergency response is expected from the Argentinean authorities.

Skills, strategies and sunshine: education in the Carribean

According to Diabetes Atlas 2000, there are 21.4 million people with diabetes living in the North American region of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). Prevalence rates of diabetes are high in this region as compared to Europe and Africa. The Caribbean countries in particular have a disproportionately high number of inhabitants with diabetes. Indeed, several islands in the Caribbean rank in the top 10 of all IDF member countries in terms of diabetes prevalence. The need for diabetes education in the region is therefore high.

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