In the global epidemic of diabetes and obesity, Asia is being hit the hardest. Each year, 17 million people die from stroke and heart disease worldwide. Of these deaths, 11 million will occur in developing regions, including Asia. Approximately
The occurrence of the metabolic syndrome in various ethnic groups – including Caucasians, Africans, Latin Americans, Asian Indians, Chinese, Aboriginal Australians, Polynesians and Micronesians – has been confirmed in
In the ongoing debates surrounding the metabolic syndrome, perhaps the key issue is whether this cluster of medical disorders arises from obesity or insensitivity to insulin. The lack of consensus on the principal underlying
The drastic rise in childhood obesity worldwide reflects the impact of unhealthy modern lifestyles. Over the last decade and a half, the increase of high-sugar, high-fat processed foods in our diets has combined with sedentary behaviour to radically and negatively affect the health of our societies. Initiatives are urgently required which can reduce the resulting individual and societal burden to physical and psychological health and economic development.
Meeting the costs of diabetes represents a major challenge. Proper diabetes care requires complex life-long management, making the condition one of the costlier chronic diseases. In 2006, the awareness-raising efforts of the global diabetes community will highlight the health status of people who are vulnerable or underserved. Not limited to populations in the developing world, this group includes people with diabetes in even the wealthiest countries. In the USA, where financial health cover is widely linked to employment, there are huge and increasing
From the moment they are diagnosed with the condition, people with diabetes receive all kinds of advice – or at least they should – ideally from others with the condition or family members who are ‘experts’ in living with diabetes, and professional health-care providers. Of all of these recommendations, one that is often misinterpreted is that relating to ‘appropriate footwear’. The key to this lies in the word ‘appropriate’.
Despite his 13 years of experience as a voluntary fire fighter, Stuart Murdoch’s application to become a professional member of the fire brigade in his home town
of Fish Hoek, South Africa was rejected – because he had type 1 diabetes. Upon hearing of his employers’ decision to discriminate against him on the grounds of his condition, Stuart felt indignant and deflated; but he was not defeated. This is his account of how his successful struggle against ignorance and discrimination changed the law for people with diabetes in South Africa.
Indigenous Australians have poorer health than the rest of the Australian population; for Aboriginal people, life expectancy is about 20 years less than for the general population. Significantly though, the low expectation of life in Indigenous Australians is less associated with high child mortality, as occurs in many groups in developing countries; the big differences are among young to middle-aged adults.