BRUSSELS, BELGIUM--(Marketwire - Nov. 14, 2012) - One in nine people or an estimated 38.4 million people have diabetes in North America and the Caribbean, according to figures released by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) today to mark World Diabetes Day. This region now spends the most healthcare dollars on diabetes than any other region in the world. Yet diabetes will still claim 287,000 lives by the end of this year, compared to 281,000 in 2011.
The USA, with an estimated 24 million people, has the highest number of people with diabetes followed by Mexico, Canada and Haiti. The prevalence of diabetes in the Caribbean islands is generally high and consistently above the global average, for example 16% of people in Guyana have diabetes.
"Diabetes is killing too many people in our region" said Lurline Less, Chair of IDF's North America and Caribbean region. "We must invest in community friendly interventions to prevent the development of diabetes where possible and encourage the integration of diabetes education into healthcare systems."
The American statistics, from IDF's Diabetes Atlas 2012 Update, echo the shocking increase in diabetes on a global level. The number of people globally living with diabetes in 2012 has risen to 371 million, compared to 366 million in 2011.
"In every country and in every community worldwide, we are losing the battle against this cruel and deadly disease" said Jean Claude Mbanya, President of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). "On World Diabetes Day, we want to raise awareness that with the right education and care this disease can be controlled and in some cases prevented."
"Millions of people are dying from diabetes in their most productive years" added Ann Keeling, CEO of IDF. "The stability of societies is threatened and huge economic and political burdens are imposed on countries and communities. However this disease remains marginalised on the global health and development agenda and vastly under-resourced."
It is hoped that campaigns such as today's World Diabetes Day will continue to raise the voice of people with diabetes and to encourage all stakeholders to move from advocacy to action on a regional and global scale.
For more information on the 5th edition Diabetes Atlas, 2012 updates and country/regional factsheets: http://www.idf.org/diabetesatlas/.
About World Diabetes Day
World Diabetes Day (WDD) is celebrated every year on November 14. The World Diabetes Day campaign is led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and its member associations. It engages millions of people worldwide in diabetes advocacy and awareness. World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat that diabetes now poses. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2007 with the passage of United Nation Resolution 61/225. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public spotlight. This year sees the fourth of a five-year campaign that will address the growing need for diabetes education and prevention programmes. www.worlddiabetesday.org.
About the International Diabetes Federation (IDF)
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is an umbrella organisation of over 200 national diabetes associations in over 160 countries. It represents the interests of the growing number of people with diabetes and those at risk. The Federation has been leading the global diabetes community since 1950. IDF's mission is to promote diabetes care, prevention and a cure worldwide. Led by the International Diabetes Federation, the Unite for Diabetes campaign secured a United Nations Resolution on diabetes in December 2006. www.idf.org.
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