Diabetes is a chronic, and largely preventable, disease that can lead to cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney failure, loss of limbs and loss of life. It causes suffering and hardship for the approximately 60 million people in the European Region

Prevalence of diabetes is increasing in the European Region, already reaching rates of 10-12% of the population in some Member States. This increase is strongly associated with increasing trends towards overweight and obesity, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity and socioeconomic disadvantage.

What is diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is characterized by deficient insulin production and requires daily administration of insulin

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes results from the body’s ineffective use of insulin (insulin resistance). Excess body weight - especially around the waist, physical inactivity and a high intake of saturated fatty acids all independently increase the risk of insulin resistance.

Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and impaired fasting glycaemia (IFG) are intermediate conditions in the transition between normality and diabetes. People with IGT or IFG are at high risk of progressing to type 2 diabetes, although this is not inevitable.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is hyperglycaemia with onset or first recognition during pregnancy.

Symptoms of gestational diabetes are similar to type 2 diabetes. It is generally temporary, but women with gestational diabetes may develop type 2 later in life.


W.H.O., Diabetes

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