What is Diabetes?


Insulin Resistance

Diabetes Market


Diabetes Market:

Type II diabetes is most common form of diabetes, where the pancreas usually produces sufficient insulin but the body cannot use it effectively due to a condition called insulin resistance. This form of the disease accounts for 90-95% of diabetes cases. According to the American Diabetes Association, in the U.S., type 2 diabetes currently affects 1 in 10 people and is expected to affect 1 in 3 people by 2050. Drug sales for diabetes are projected to reach $66 billion by 2018.

The number of diabetics continues to increase worldwide and has become one of the most costly non-communicable diseases for both patients and governments. Changing food habits, reduced physical activity, and an aging population are among the major causes of the dramatic growth. The International Diabetes Association reported that the number of people diagnosed with diabetes has increased from 30 million to 387 million over the last 2 decades (+720%). This statistic is projected to rise to 592 million by the end of 2015.

In Latin America, globalization and urbanization are thought to be the culprits for the increase in diabetes, and current estimates predict that 32.7 million Latin American adults will have some form of diabetes by the year 2025. Obesity, lack of exercise and the insufficient consumption of fruit and vegetables are the main reasons for the recent increase in new diabetes cases in Mexico in the last ten years. In addition, diabetes has become Mexico's main cause of limb loss and blindness. Under 20% of the people with diabetes have their blood glucose levels under control (monitored).

As governments, public health experts, civil society groups, and educators in Latin America and the Caribbean look to stem the tide of new diabetes cases and prevent complications among current diabetics, they face several serious challenges. They range from the cultural and economic shifts in the countries that seem to be aiding the disease’s spread to the difficulty in reaching the poorest with prevention and treatment services.

First there are the determinants of diabetes, which according to Dr.Venkat Narayan, Hubert Professor of global health and epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health at Atlanta’s Emory University are both genetic and cultural in Latin America.

Hispanics are believed to be genetically susceptible to diabetes, according to Dr. Narayan. The region’s improving economies have meant huge changes in diet and lifestyle in recent decades, which increase the risks for obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. “The influence of the modern lifestyle is discouraging people from exercise and the traditional diet and is encouraging watching television, physical inactivity and a high calorie diet,” said Dr. Narayan.

Dr. Jaime Sepulveda, the coordinator of Mexico’s National Institutes of Health, sees diabetes as one of the most complicated diseases to prevent. “It’s not like giving a vaccination where even in a country with many poor, isolated regions, you can still reach every one,” said Dr. Sepulveda. “With diabetes and obesity, we’re dealing with a major cultural change, and we’re fighting against globalization and urbanization. This disease has momentum that is huge.”

Not only is the disease becoming increasingly prevalent in nearly every country in the region, but many countries still do not have the financial resources to devote to prevention.

In countries like El Salvador, for example, the Ministry of Health has not allocated any part of its budget to diabetes even as the current prevalence rate in the country is between 8 and 8.5 percent, according to Dr. Roberto Cerritos, president of ASADI and director of the diabetes clinic at the Hospital Rosales. Their most visible, current priorities instead are infectious diseases like cholera, dengue, and tuberculosis, and respiratory and diarrhea ailments.


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