10 Misconceptions about Diabetes

10 Misconceptions about Diabetes 

1. Diabetes is not a killer disease. False!

In fact, diabetes is a global killer, rivaling HIV/AIDS in its deadly reach. The disease kills some 3.8 million people a year. Every 1 0 seconds a person dies from diabetes-related causes. 

2. Diabetes only affects rich countries. False!

Diabetes hits all populations, regardless of income. It is becoming increasingly common. More than 240 million people worldwide now have diabetes. This will grow to more than 380 million by 2025. In many countries in Asia, the Middle East, Oceania and the Caribbean, diabetes affects 12 -20% of the population. In 2025, 80% of all cases of diabetes will be in low -and middle-income countries. 

3. Diabetes is heavily funded globally. F alse!

Official Overseas Development Aid to the health sector in 2002 reached USD 2.9 billion, of which a mere 0.1% went to fund AL L non-communicable chronic diseases (N C Ds). Most of the U SD 2 .9 billion went to support HIV/AIDS. Despite diabetes having a deadly global impact comparable to HIV/AIDS, it had to share the tiny 0.1% of the total NCD funding. In addition, the World Bank gave USD 4 .2 billion in loans for health, population and nutrition between 1997 and 2002. Only 2.5% of the USD 4.2 billion went to chronic diseases. 

4. Diabetes c are is not costly. False!

Diabetes care is costly and has the potential to cripple any healthcare system. The economic opportunities that the United Nations w ants to create for developing countries through the Millennium Development Goals will be greatly undermined by the economic impact of diabetes in low – and middle-income countries. 

5. Diabetes only affects old people. False!

In reality, diabetes affects all age groups. Currently, an estimated 2 4 6 million people between the ages of 2 0 and 7 9 w ill have diabetes. In developing countries diabetes affects at least 80 million people between ages 40 -59.

 6. Diabetes predominantly affects men. False!

In fact, diabetes is rising in both men and women, and affects slightly more women than men. It is also increasing dramatically among youth and threatening to decimate indigenous populations. 

7. Diabetes is the result of unhealthy lifestyles. False!

The reality is that the poor and children have limited choices when it comes to living conditions, diet and education. 

8. Diabetes cannot be prevented. False!

While it is true that type 1 diabetes is not preventable, up to 80% of type 2 diabetes is preventable by a healthy diet, increasing physical activity and promoting a healthy lifestyle. 

9. Diabetes prevention is too ex pensive. False!

Many inexpensive and cost-effective interventions exist. Proven strategies for improving the living environment, changing diet and increasing physical activity can reverse the pandemic. 

10. We all have to die of something. True but…

Death is of course inevitable but it does not need to be slow, painful or premature. Diabetes causes 3.8 million deaths globally. With awareness, prevention and appropriate care, many of these deaths can be prevented. 


The idea for ‘10 misconceptions about diabetes’ is based on the World Health Organization’s global report: “Preventing chronic diseases: a vital investment”, which presents 10 common misunderstandings about chronic diseases. The data comes from various sources, including:Roglic G et al: The Burden of Mortality Attributable to Diabetes: Realistic estimates for the year 2000. Diabetes Care 28: 2130-2135. The Diabetes Atlas 3rd Edition, International Diabetes Federation, 2006. Yach D et al: The global burden of chronic diseases. JAMA 2004 


One Response

  1. Nice blog, go..go and add more…

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