People Living with Diabetes to rise to 643 Million People

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Cabinet Secretary for Health Mutahi Kagwe
The Cabinet Secretary for Health Mutahi Kagwe

In 2021, approximately 537 million adults aged 20-79 years are living with Diabetes according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Diabetes, Atlas Tenth Edition 2021. The total number of people living with diabetes is projected to rise to 643 million by 2030 and 783 million by 2045.

Between 2000 and 2016, there was a 5% increase in premature mortality from diabetes.

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 In 2019, diabetes was the ninth leading cause of death and 48% of all deaths due to diabetes occurred before the age of 70 years.

The majority of the people affected by diabetes live in low and middle-income countries. 1.5 million deaths are directly attributed to diabetes each year according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The prevalence of diabetes has been steadily increasing over the past few decades.

Diabetes is a disease in which the body`s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood.

The main cause of diabetes is insufficient production of insulin, production of defective insulin, or inability of the cells to use insulin properly and efficiently. Insulin is an important hormone that regulates blood sugar thus lack of it leads to hyperglycemia or raised blood sugar.

Some of the signs and symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, presence of ketones in the urine, and blurred vision.

There are 2 types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, though it often appears during childhood and adolescence. Type 2 diabetes is more common and can develop at any age is but more common in people aged 40 years and above.

The risk factors of diabetes include Family history- Your risk increases if a parent has diabetes, age-your risk increases as you get older, being overweight-this makes your cells resistant to insulin.

It can also be increased by being inactive-the less active you are, the greater your risk of contracting diabetes.

Diagnosis of diabetes can be done by a fasting blood sugar test. This checks your glucose level in the blood. A glucose level from 100 to 125 mg/dl is considered prediabetes. If it`s 126 mg/dl or higher on two separate tests, you have diabetes. It can also be done by random glucose test and A1c test.

Diabetes can be reduced by lifestyle interventions such as a cut on sugar and refined carbohydrates from your diet, being more physically active, losing extra weight, and eating healthy plant foods.

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