Why is diabetes important?

Diabetes is a chronic disorder of glucose metabolism and is a major cause of heart disease and end-stage renal disease in European populations, the single biggest cause of preventable blindness, the leading cause of non-traumatic lower extremity amputation and major cause of premature mortality.

The secular trend and geographical variation of type 2 diabetes suggest that genes and lifestyles interact in their influence on glucose metabolism and the development of diabetes.

The prevalence of diabetes is rising worldwide.

In Europe, between 35-40% of people will develop diabetes mellitus over their lifetime, accounting for up to 10% of all funds spent on healthcare.

The need to understand its aetiology and to develop preventive strategies is, therefore, key to improving the health of the public and to reducing the burden on the health care system.


Further information on the global burden of Diabetes can be found via the International Diabetes Federation publications, including the IDF Diabetes Atlas: