World Diabetes Day, celebrated annually on November 14th, is an awareness campaign led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF, http://www.idf.org ). The IDF, an umbrella organization comprised of 200 diabetes associations in 160 countries, was formed to promote diabetes care, prevention, and cure. World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the IDF and the World Health Organization in response to concern about the increasing incidence of diabetes worldwide. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2007 with the passage of United Nation Resolution 61/225 (www.worlddiabetesday.org).
World Diabetes Day 2011 marks the release of the IDF's 5th edition of the Diabetes Atlas. The Atlas presents the latest statistics on diabetes, and the numbers are concerning. The number of people living with diabetes worldwide is expected to rise from 366 million in 2011 to 552 million by 2030, if no urgent action is taken. This equates to approximately three new cases every ten seconds or almost ten million per year. IDF also estimates that as many as 183 million people are unaware that they have diabetes. In developing regions in the world such as Africa, where infectious diseases have traditionally been the focus of healthcare, diabetes is expected to increase by 90% by 2030. It’s estimated that 78% of people in Africa are undiagnosed and are unaware that they are living with diabetes.
Other statistics included in the Atlas are that 80% of people with diabetes live in low and middle income countries, 78,000 children develop type 1 diabetes every year, and the greatest number of people with diabetes are between 40-59 years of age. The IDF predicts that one in 10 adults could have diabetes by 2030, and notes that this may be an underestimate in view of increasing obesity of the global population.