The United Nations adopted a resolution in December 2006 to designate November 14 as an annual day to recognize diabetes worldwide. The International Diabetes Federation has been recognizing 11/14--the birthday of Frederick Banting, who, with Charles Best, discovered insulin in 1921--as World Diabetes Day since 1991 to recognize the growing epidemic of this disease.
The motivation behind the resolution is to bring attention to the disease and encourage the creation of public and private health organizations to address prevention, care, and a cure. Especially in developing countries, which account for 80% of all cases of diabetes, the high financial and societal costs of diabetes care are increasing. Type 1 diabetes prevalence is increasing at a rate of 3% annually, and type 2 has now overtaken type 1 in children in Japan. For 2007 and 2008, the unite for diabetes campaign will focus on diabetes in children.
Action to help young people with diabetes is urgently needed. In poor and low-income countries, many people receive inadequate care or no care at all; the life expectancy for some diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is less than 2 years, when we see people in the U.S. living >75 years with the disease.
Please become familiar with the symptoms of both types of diabetes and do all you can to prevent type 2 diabetes. Realize that type 2 symptoms may be mild or completely unnoticeable, so it is best to get checked if you are at risk. In college, I worked for a year at the Joslin Diabetes Center. Although I had no complications at the time, and still have none after 19 years of diabetes, newly diagnosed people with type 2 diabetes were being treated there for severe retinopathy that could have been avoided with earlier detection.
Take care, World.