Diabetes in Society


The World Diabetes Congress in Dubai: a personal view

Dubai’s promotional tagline, ‘the meeting place of the world’, rang true last December, when more than 15,000 participants gathered there for the World Congress, making it the most successful Congress ever organized by IDF – and not only in terms of the number of people attending: net revenues from Dubai broke all records. But these impressive figures tell only a part of the story of an historic event that capped a stellar year for diabetes. In this report, Sir Michael Hirst offers his unique view, as both IDF President Elect and a person affected by diabetes, of the Dubai Congress.

Insulin for Life – building capacity, saving lives

Insulin is a life-sustaining medication, designated an essential drug by the World Health Organization. Although it should be universally available to everyone who requires it for survival, in many countries access to insulin is not secure – resulting in life-threatening complications for large numbers of children and adults with diabetes worldwide. Indeed, most people in most countries of the world who need life-saving insulin cannot obtain it.

Ninety years of insulin - Canada celebrates

The discovery of insulin in 1921 is undoubtedly one of the most significant medical discoveries of the 20th century. Frederick Banting is considered as the main discoverer since he was the one who had the idea of tying a ligature round the pancreatic canals in order to provoke diabetes. when he was still a young surgeon in London, ontario (Canada), he met JJR Macleod of the University of Toronto and suggested experimenting with this procedure in dogs.

Estimating the worldwide burden of type 1 diabetes

Providing an accurate estimate of the number of children with type 1 diabetes is an essential component of planning health policy, assessing the quality of care and driving research. There is good evidence that the incidence of type 1 diabetes among children is increasing in many parts of the world. The International Diabetes Federation’s Diabetes Atlas, 5th edition, estimates that increase to be 3% per year. The cause of this rise is unknown, although it may be linked to a number of factors.

Hope springs for young people with type 1 diabetes

The IDF Diabetes Atlas, 5th edition, estimates that worldwide 495,100 children below 15 years of age are living with diabetes. Added to this number would be as many or more young people aged between 15 and 25 years. Together with adults with type 1 diabetes, these 1 million plus children and young people face the challenge of living with a complex, life-threatening chronic disease, but in widely different circumstances.

The 3-C Study – strong partnerships to improve care for people with type 1 diabetes in China

In March 2010, investigators from the Chinese Diabetes Society (CDS ) published a study that captured headlines in the popular as well as the medical media around the world. It estimated that the number of people with diabetes in China had risen in excess of 92 million. With the release of those findings, China took over from India the dubious mantle of diabetes capital of the world.

Epilepsy in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes

Seizures provoked by hypoglycaemia are relatively frequent in people with type 1 diabetes. Each year, up to 15% of children with type 1 diabetes experience a severe hypoglycaemic episode, or ‘hypo’, with seizures – often as a result of administering too much insulin. But seizures also can occur during diabetic ketoacidosis – when not enough insulin has been taken. These acute complications often constitute an obstacle to diagnosis of epilepsy in people, especially children and adolescents, with diabetes.

Breakthrough – the story of Elizabeth Hughes and the making of a medical miracle

Of the many medical innovations seen in the 20th century, few were so pivotal as the discovery of insulin for the treatment for diabetes. A newly published book, Breakthrough, tells the story of a young girl who should have died as a child but survived to see seven grandchildren, and the drug  that, for millions worldwide, has turned a death sentence into something more like a chronic irritation. A portion of the book’s proceeds is going to IDF ’s Life for a Child Programme.The authors tell us more.

In the race for a glittering prize – Team Type 1 hits the road

Many people are shocked when I say that my diabetes is a gift – or that I would not take a cure if it were offered to me. But that is the truth. Diabetes is my life; I would not trade it for the world. Because of diabetes, I am healthier today than I would have been without the disease.

From diabetes education and prevention all the way to sporting excellence – Italy’s BCD Campaign

Great strides have been made in our collective understanding of the benefits of well-managed diabetes and controlled blood glucose, and the key role in these that is played by physical activity. Yet slow progress has been made translating this knowledge into effective lifestyle education to engender healthful behaviour on a large scale. Very many young people remain at particularly high  risk from the chronic effects of disabling diabetes complications.