About World Diabetes Day
Every November 14, World Diabetes Day is commemorated, which is an opportunity to raise awareness about the impact of diabetes on the health of people. It also seeks to highlight the opportunities to strengthen the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diabetes.
This year, the theme is “Education to Protect Tomorrow”. PAHO calls on the need to strengthen access to quality education on diabetes both for the health team and for people living with diabetes, their caregivers, and society in general.
This year, PAHO will present the Panorama of Diabetes in the Americas, a new technical report that integrates data from various sources on key indicators for the Region, including mortality from diabetes, its prevalence, and national responses to this disease. It also addresses critical issues of our time, such as the relationship between diabetes and COVID-19, diabetes in indigenous populations, and access to insulin 100 years after its discovery.
Worldwide, the number of people living with diabetes (PLWD) has increased from 108 million to 420 million in the last thirty years; 62 million people with diabetes are in the Region of the Americas. This number has increased over three-fold in the Region since 1980 and could be even higher since 40% of PLWD are unaware of their condition and undiagnosed.
The burden of disease associated with diabetes is enormous and growing: in just 20 years, mortality from diabetes has increased by 70% worldwide. In the Region of the Americas, it is the sixth leading cause of death and the seventh leading cause of years of life lost prematurely.
In the Region, diabetes (including diabetes-related kidney disease) causes the loss due to premature death of more than eight million years of life each year. Nearly half of premature deaths in the Americas are due to diabetes. In just 20 years, the number of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) due to diabetes increased by 88%. This increase reaches 97% in men. Diabetes is currently the second leading cause of DALYs, preceded only by ischemic heart disease.
People living with diabetes are at higher risk of severe illness and death from other diseases:
Keeping blood glucose levels well controlled lowers the risk of severe illness or death; unfortunately, 50% to 70% of PLWD have uncontrolled blood glucose levels.
Why is it difficult to control diabetes? +
The expansive increase in the diabetes epidemic goes hand in hand with the rise in its risk factors. The Americas is the most overweight/obese and physically inactive region in the world: 63 out of 100 adults are overweight or obese, and 39 out of 100 people have insufficient physical activity.
The increase in risk factors for diabetes is alarming in children and adolescents. Thirty-two out of 100 adolescents and 36 out of 100 children are overweight or obese, while 81 out of 100 adolescents engage in insufficient physical activity.
People living with diabetes face different barriers to accessing health care:
The COVID-19 pandemic has seriously affected access to diabetes health services. Despite the association between diabetes and COVID-19 and the need for continuous and uninterrupted care for people living with the disease, in many countries, COVID-19 preparedness and response plans do not include services for diabetes.
What can we do to control diabetes? +
Halting the rise in diabetes is possible and goes hand in hand with implementing strategies such as:
The change caused by the COVID-19 pandemic makes it essential to integrate evidence-based digital solutions, such as telemedicine and educational and monitoring applications in diabetes health care.
Diabetes care should be part of preparedness and response to health emergencies. People living with diabetes must be guaranteed the uninterrupted availability of their medicines in situations of this type.
PAHO's work to tackle diabetes +
PAHO/WHO offers technical assistance and provides resources, including:
The Global Diabetes Compact aims to support countries in the development, implementation, and evaluation of cost-effective programs that reduce the risk of diabetes and guarantee that all people who require it have access to diabetes care that is quality, equitable, comprehensive, and affordable.
Global Diabetes Compact: Implementation in the Region of the Americas
Essential Medicines for Noncommunicable Diseases Available through the PAHO Strategic Fund
The Global Diabetes Compact: what you need to know
International Diabetes Federation
Events and webinars
Launch the “Panorama of Diabetes in the Americas”
Participate in the webinar to launch the “Panorama of Diabetes in the Americas” Friday, November 11, 2022, from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm (EST), held by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to mark World Diabetes Day 2022
This virtual meeting will introduce the Panorama of Diabetes in the Americas, a technical report developed by PAHO's Department of Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health (NMH), which integrates data and updated information on the status of diabetes in the region.
WHO Global Diabetes Compact: World Diabetes Day Webinar
The World Health Organization is hosting a webinar to mark World Diabetes Day, on 14 November 2022. The session will be in English. La sesión será en inglés.
The event will address the Global Diabetes Compact, a new initiative to galvanize efforts around the world to both reduce the risk of diabetes and ensure that all people diagnosed with diabetes have access to equitable, comprehensive, affordable and quality treatment and care. The event will discuss the recently adopted global diabetes coverage targets.