Ahead of World Diabetes Day, experts call for action to address global diabetes epidemic

Ahead of World Diabetes Day (November 14), a new report has called for action to close the gap in diabetes prevention and care. Worldwide, 463 million people have diabetes, with 80% from low-income and middle- income countries (LMICs). In 2019, 4.2 million people died as a result of the condition and its complications. On average, diabetes reduces life expectancy in middle-aged people by 4-10 years and independently increases the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and cancer by 1.3-3 times. Diabetes is among the leading causes of non-traumatic leg and foot amputations and blindness, especially among people of working age. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of people with diabetes. People with diabetes are at least 2 times increased risk of severe disease or death from the virus, especially in individuals with poorly controlled diabetes, or who have diabetes-related complications, but the risk is also exacerbated by social conditions in disadvantaged communities that lead to lower access to care and higher rates of comorbidities.