World Diabetes Day, 14th November 2017
The campaign this year was supported by several diabetic nurse specialists, and the theme set by the International Diabetes Federation focused on ‘Women and Diabetes’. The importance of access to health care and better education to manage or prevent diabetes appears a global issue for women.
Emphasis was drawn to certain stark facts:
- Over 199 million women are currently living with diabetes, and this figure is projected to increase to 313 million by 2040.
- Women with type1 diabetes have an increased risk of early miscarriage or having a baby with malformations.
- Women with type 2 diabetes are almost 10 times more likely to have coronary heart disease than women without the condition.
- Diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women globally, causing 2.1 million deaths per year.
Cause of Diabetes
Diabetes occurs when the body can’t use glucose (sugar) properly. As a result, people with diabetes have abnormally high levels of glucose in their blood.
Whilst there are certain risk factors that cannot be controlled- such as being older than 40 years, having a close relative with diabetes, or being of African-Caribbean or South Asian decent-
there are steps that can be taken to prevent Type2 diabetes:
- Weight control – Over 80% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight. The more overweight and unfit you are, the greater the risk of diabetes.
- Watch your waist – All women who have a waist that measures more than 80cm (31.5 inches) are at an increased risk.
- Eat healthy and exercise often – Up to 70% of type 2 diabetes cases could be prevented through the adoption of a healthy lifestyle.
- Keep your children healthy -70% of premature deaths in adults are essentially due to behaviours initiated during adolescence, ensuring your children maintain a healthy lifestyle young is a good way to reduce their risk in the future.
Diabetes in Gibraltar
Susan Edwards, a Diabetic Specialist Nurse, presented local information stressing that there are currently 2560 known diabetics in Gibraltar. This figure is lower than the true number of diabetics, as it does not include those with prediabetes, those who have gestational diabetes, or those who are wholly unaware of having the condition. 95% of the known diabetics in Gibraltar suffer from type 2 diabetes, a number of which could be prevented with lifestyle changes.