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Diabetes worldwide: A global concern

While thinking about what to write about for this week's blog, I came across an article in a local newspaper stating that there are currently 366 million people with diabetes worldwide. I'm familiar with the data from the American Diabetes Association indicating that there are 18.8 million people in the United States who have diabetes. But the 366 million worldwide number blew me away.

After a little research, I discovered that the diabetes worldwide data came from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) — an umbrella organization of over 200 national diabetes associations in over 160 countries. The IDF's mission is to promote diabetes care, prevention and a cure worldwide.

In December 2006, the United Nations passed a resolution with the IDF to actively involve its members in diabetes care and prevention activities. The aims of the IDF are to influence policy, increase public awareness, improve health care and encourage the exchange of high-quality information on diabetes. The IDF is also associated with the World Health Organization and Pan American Health Organization.

The fifth edition of the IDF's Diabetes Atlas contains an interactive world map showing data per country. The countries with the largest number of those with diabetes are the United States, India, Brazil and China.

Diabetes affects all countries, and it's predicted that the currently 366 million who have diabetes worldwide will grow to 552 million by 2030.

It's easy to become complacent in our own little world and our busy lives, but we need to start thinking more globally. It's essential we improve at preventing and managing this disease that affects so many.

For more information on the IDF and its efforts to address diabetes worldwide, follow this link: www.idf.org

"The future depends on what we do in the present." - Ghandi

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