Every Six Seconds Diabetes Takes a Life


Count to six.  That's all it takes.  Every six seconds a person dies from diabetes.

The projected number of people that will be diagnosed with diabetes will soar to 592 million people by 2035.  According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the number of people living with

diabetes this year is estimated at 382 million as compared to 371 million cases in 2012.

The IDF states there are approximately 175 million people living with diabetes that are not yet diagnosed and therefore unaware of their compromised health.

A vast majority of diabetics have type 2 diabetes that is characteristically linked to obesity and lack of exercise.  Diabetics have inadequate blood sugar control, which can lead to a range of debilitating, medical complications including eye, kidney and heart afflictions, and nervous system disease, which if left untreated, can result in premature death.

China has the highest overall rating of all diabetic people with a caseload that is expected to rise to 142.7 million by 2035.  More than a third of adults in Tokelau, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands are already living with diabetes.

The 'Diabetic Atlas' states they are losing the battle to protect people from diabetes citing that millions of people in the developing world have adopted a western lifestyle and changed their eating habits ingesting processed and fast foods.

Major pharmaceutical companies have developed a

"…in the next fifteen years the global incidence of type 2 diabetes in children will increase up to 50%."

The Canadian Diabetes Association, 2013

range of medicines to counter the ill effects of diabetes but many patients still struggle to control their condition adequately, leading to a continual search for improved treatments.  Diabetes thus far accounts for $548 billion in health costs annually and will likely rise to $627 billion by 2035.

Canadian Statistics

The Canadian Diabetes Association states there are approximately 9 million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes.

  • More than 20 people are diagnosed with the disease every hour of every day.
  • It is estimated that an additional 700,000 have the disease but don’t know it.
  • Rising obesity rates, sedentary lifestyles, an aging population and changes in the ethnic mix of new immigrants have and will continue to drive these increases.
  • One in every three American children born in 2000 will likely be diagnosed with diabetes in their  lifetime and similar rates are anticipated for Canadian children.
  • Type 2 diabetes is being diagnosed in Canadian First Nations children as young as eight years of age, and the incidence are increasing rapidly.
  • It is anticipated that in the next fifteen years the global incidence of type 2 diabetes in children will increase up to 50%.

U.S. Statistics

The American Diabetes Association states that 25.8 million children and adults have diabetes - 8.3% of the population as per the 2011 National Fact Sheet report.

  • 8 million people are diagnosed
  • 7.0 million people are undiagnosed
  • 79 million people are pre-diabetic
  • 215,000, or 0.26% of all people under the age of twenty have diabetes and about 1 in every 400 children and adolescents has diabetes.
  • Approximately 1 in every 3 children born since the turn of this century will be diagnosed with diabetes during their lifetime

United Kingdom

One in four diabetic children in the UK is at risk of amputation and blindness.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in the United Kingdom stated that paediatric centres are often failing to provide the recommended seven check-ups to ensure that childhood diabetes is managed properly.

One in four diabetic children in the UK is at risk of amputation and blindness

An audit of the records of the near 25,000 diabetic children in England and Wales found that 17% of diabetic children have good control of their disease and only 1 in 15 receives the recommended care process.

The seven check-ups recommended are intended to detect and prevent long-term complications associated with poor diabetes care: the checking of Body Mass Index, measures of HbA1c, urinary albumin, blood pressure and blood cholesterol, along with the examination of eyes and feet.

“With recent evidence suggesting that the incidence of Type 1 diabetes in children is rising and may double by 2020, getting the management of care right for every child is essential to ensure they have the best quality of life," said Dr. Justin Warner, RCPCH lead and a Consultant in Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes.

Three Different Kinds of Diabetes

(resourced from the Canadian Diabetes Association)

  • Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the pancreas no longer produces any insulin or produces very little insulin. Type 1 diabetes usually develops in childhood or adolescence and affects up to 10% of people with diabetes.  There is no cure.  It is treated with lifelong insulin injections and careful attention to diet and physical activity.  Type 1 diabetes was formerly known as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes.
  • Type 2 diabetes is a disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to meet the body’s needs and/or the body is unable to respond properly to the actions of insulin (insulin resistance). Type 2 diabetes usually occurs later in life (although it can occur in younger people) and affects approximately 90% of people with diabetes.  There is no cure.  It is treated with careful attention to diet and exercise and usually also diabetes medications (oral antihyperglycemic agents) and/or insulin.  Type 2 diabetes was formerly known as non-insulindependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes.
  • Gestational diabetes is first diagnosed or first develops during pregnancy. It affects 2% to 4% of all pregnancies.  Blood glucose levels usually return to normal following delivery.  Both mother and child are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.3

Don't let your child become another statistic.  Do the right thing for all the right reasons.

Weight loss and exercise will not only help prevent type 2 diabetes, it has been proven time and time again that it can reverse the condition altogether.  

Make sure your children have access to a fruit-and-vegetable-rich diet and are getting the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day.  Teach your children by example.  Guide them with love, knowledge and kindness.

Additional Resources

For additional information, Diligencia Investigative Reporting recommends the following articles:

Diligencia Investigative Reporting - Artificial Pancreas for Young Children with Type 1 Diabetes Approved by FDA

Diligencia Investigative Reporting - Child Obesity:  Wake Up and Smell the Sugar

Diligencia Investigative Reporting - WHO Warns Against Overweight Becoming ‘New Norm’

Diligencia Investigative Reporting - Obese Children are Suffering from Adult Diseases

Diligencia Investigative Reporting - Canada Child Obesity Rates Have Doubled Since 1970s

Diligencia Investigative Reporting - Do You Know How Much Salt Your Children are Eating?

Diligencia Investigative ReportingBillion Dollar Children’s Health Study Can’t Get off the Ground

Diligencia Investigative Reporting - National Reviews Needed for Children and Youth Deaths Across Canada

Diligencia Investigative Reporting  - CDC Lowers Lead Level Limits in Children

Diligencia Investigative Reporting - CDC: New Waterborne Disease Challenges Have Emerged

Diligencia Investigative Reporting - Canada Water Agency Established to Bolster Clean Water Challenges

Diligencia Investigative Reporting - 800 Million Children Exposed to Poisonous Lead Levels

Diligencia Investigative Reporting - Toxic Environments in Chinese Countryside Creating Cancer Villages

Diligencia Investigative Reporting - Lead Level Limits for Children:  Results of Canada’s Survey and Policy

Diligencia Investigative Reporting - Plastics:  The Bane of Our Natural Existence

Diligencia Investigative Reporting - Genome Sequencing and Newborn Screening Disorders Research Programme Will Transform Healthcare

Diligencia Investigative Reporting - Children with Rare Diseases Receive Access to New Treatments

Diligencia Investigative Reporting - Pilot Project Launched for People with Rare Diseases

Diligencia Investigative Reporting - Zayed Centre:  World’s First Hospital Dedicated to Rare Diseases in Children

Diligencia Investigative Reporting - Multi-Resistant Tuberculosis Presents Global Threat

Diligencia Investigative Reporting - IBD Spikes Highest Amongst Canadian Children


Written by Veronika Bradley, Editor for Children's Health and Safety Association – December 2013

Republished by Diligencia Investigative Reporting – April 2019


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