Today's Google logo might not seem as recognizable as some of the other ones you've seen, but it still symbolizes a very important day in the history of medical care: the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, the man who first developed insulin as a treatment for diabetes, earning a Nobel Prize in 1923, and becoming knighted by King George V in 1934. November 14th is also appropriately marked as World Diabetes Day, in the hopes of bringing awareness to the severity and seriousness of the common disease.
In case you're not sure what diabetes is exactly, it's a name for a series of disorders that affect the body's ability to regulate it blood-sugar levels. In a healthy body, insulin allows the body to convert the glucose from foods into energy, but those with diabetes have difficulty with this process.
The two most common types are Type 1, an autoimmune disorder that causes the pancreas to halt insulin production; and Type 2, a metabolic issue that prevents the body from using the person's insulin effectively. A vast majority of people with diabetes have Type 2, and yet this is the type that can be prevented or stabilized with the proper lifestyle changes.
The Facts & Statistics about Diabetes
- Around the world, there are over 420 million adults living with diabetes, and projections estimate that this number will increase to over 640 million by the year 2040.
- Almost 10% of Americans (adults and children) and over 25% of seniors (65 or older) have diabetes. In the United States, 1.4 million people are newly diagnosed each year.
- Another 28% of Americans have prediabetes. Eating healthy, exercising, and quitting smoking can drastically decrease their chances of developing diabetes.
- In America, nearly 1 out of every 3 people with diabetes don't even know they have the disease. Worldwide, about 1 out of every 2 don't know.
- Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of American deaths, and was the cause of death in 5 million deaths worldwide in 2015—about one person every six seconds.
- Since 1980, the number of cases of diabetes around the world has nearly quadrupled and the prevalence (percent of people with diabetes) has almost doubled. A commonly attributed factor is the rising number of overweight and inactive people.
- Adults with diabetes are 2-3 times more likely to suffer from a heart attack and/or stroke.
- Diabetes can also cause blindness, kidney failure, and reduced blood flow—which can lead to amputation.
Sources and Information about Diabetes
For more facts about diabetes, including symptoms, costs, complications, and what you can do to help spread awareness, try the links below.