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About Diabetes

 

  • What is diabetes?

About DiabetesDiabetes Mellitus is a chronic metabolic disease characterized by elevated blood glucose (hyperglycemia). It is associated with an absolute or relative deficiency in the secretion and/or action of insulin.

There are three main forms of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common, accounting for approximately 85% to 90% of all cases. It is related to modifiable risk factors such as obesity or overweight, physical inactivity, and high-calorie diets of low nutritional value.

Intermediate hyperglycemia, is characterized by the presence of prediabetes in conjunction with one other cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factor (hypertension, upper body obesity or dyslipidemia)

  • Who is affected?

Recent estimates reveal that among Latin American and Caribbean countries, the highest prevalence of diabetes has been reported in Belize (12.4%) and Mexico (10.7%) with rates of 8% to 10% in Managua, Guatemala City, and Bogota. The most recent data from the United States reported a prevalence of diabetes of 9.3% while it was 15.7% along the US-Mexico border.

The burden of diabetes to an individual and to society is chiefly associated with increased disability and premature mortality due to complications. Diabetes complications and premature mortality are believed to be exacerbated by poor quality of care. In addition, the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease (CVD) is between two and three times higher among people with diabetes versus those without.

In a clinical study involving six Latin American countries, it was found that after 20 years of living with diabetes, the frequency of chronic complications was: 48% for retinopathy, 6.7% for blindness, 42% for neuropathy, 1.5% for kidney damage, 6.7% for myocardial infraction (heart attack), 3.3% for stroke and 7.3% for lower limb amputations.

Prevalence of Diabetes Mellitus, Overweight (BMI ≥25) and obesity (BMI≥30) by gender in selected countries

About DiabetesSome population groups are at greater risk for complications than others. For example, studies in Barbados demonstrated a high incidence of lower limb amputations (936 per 100,000) and a higher prevalence of retinopathy among blacks (28.5% of black diabetics).

While diabetes and its complications are largely preventable, lack of access to quality health care services and lack of knowledge of preventive measures are widespread.

  • What are the costs of the diabetes?

The cost of health care for people affected by diabetes is between two and three times higher than their peers without diabetes. In 2000, the cost of diabetes in the Region was estimated at US$ 65.2 billion, of which $10.7 billion were direct costs and $54.5 billion, indirect costs. In 2006, the cost of diabetes in some countries was reported between 0.4% and 2.3% of GDP.

Sub Region/Country
Year
Age
Years
Prevalence (%)
DM
Overweight
BMI = 25
Obesity
BMI = 30
North America    
Canada
2003
18+
15.1
USA
2001/4
20+
9.3
66.3
32.2
Mexico Border, Hispanics
2002
18+
14.7
Mexico Border, Whites
2002
18+
8.8
Caribbean
Port au Prince, Haiti
2002
20+
7.3
27.75
16.11
Mexico
Mexico
2000
20-69
10.7
62.0
24%
US Border
2002
18+
16.6
Central America
Belize
2006
20+
12.9
66.3
33.8
Costa Rica
2009-10
San Jose, Costa Rica
2005
20+
8.8
59.2
24.1
San Salvador, El Salvador
2004
20+
7.6
62.0
23.7
Guatemala City, Guatemala
2003
20+
7.3
65.4
21.8
Tegucigalpa, Honduras
2004
20+
5.4
54.2
19.3
Managua, Nicaragua
2004
20+
9.8
66.7
29.1
South America
Central Argentina, Argentina
82004
20+
6.9
25.0
Barquisimeto, Venezuela
82008
25-64
6.0
25.1
Bogota, Colombia
82008
25-64
8.1
18.0
Buenos Aires, Argentina
82008
25-64
6.2
19.7
Chile
2010
20+
9.4
64.5
25.1
Lima, Peru
82008
25-64
4.4
22.3
Quito, Ecuador
82008
25-64
5.9
16.3
Santiago, Chile
82008
25-64
7.2
26.6
 
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