The number of people diagnosed with diabetes has quadrupled over the past 40 years. This was reported by Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), on April 14.
“The number of people with diabetes has quadrupled in the last 40 years. It is the only serious non-communicable disease in which the risk of premature death is increasing, not decreasing. And a large proportion of people who are critically ill in hospital with COVID-19 are diabetic,” the WHO said.
The WHO director general stressed that at this point it is important to take steps to increase the population’s access to early diagnosis of the disease, as well as access to medications. This is especially true for low- and middle-income countries. Gebreyesus said that many diabetes sufferers can hardly afford glucose meters and test strips.
The organization will unveil the Global Diabetes Compact on Wednesday, marking the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin.
“A key goal of the Global Diabetes Compact is to bring together key stakeholders from the public and private sectors and, most importantly, people living with diabetes around a common agenda to create new momentum and create solutions together,” said Bente Mikkelsen, director of WHO’s Noncommunicable Diseases Department.
Earlier, on April 2, the results of a study by U.S. scientists were published, which showed that people who are highly overweight and have type II diabetes are most susceptible to contracting the coronavirus infection.