Having killed 1.5 million people in the world in 2012, diabetes is now considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the number eight leading killer disease today.
A recent report from the WHO shows that diabetes-related deaths are the same number of deaths caused by HIV/AIDS – at 1.5 million people all over the world. It shows that deaths due to chronic diseases such as diabetes have significantly increased globally.
Based on the report, the number of diabetes-related deaths worldwide has increased by 400 percent in a span of 32 years. From only 108 million deaths in 1980, it ballooned to 422 million deaths in 2012.
Aside from the fact that it’s a chronic disease that causes millions of deaths worldwide, diabetes is also a precursor to other life-threatening conditions such as heart attack, kidney failure, blindness, and may lead to amputation of limbs, among others.
The leading factors that contribute to the development of diabetes are obesity and maintaining above-normal weight, the WHO report added. The WHO released the special report for diabetes in time for the celebration of World Health Day 2016, where it aims to raise awareness in preventing and providing effective treatment for the disease that affects millions of people worldwide.
“The new report calls upon governments to ensure that people are able to make healthy choices and that health systems are able to diagnose, treat and care for people with diabetes. It encourages us all as individuals to eat healthily, be physically active, and avoid excessive weight gain,” the WHO diabetes report reads.
Ischaemic heart disease remained the top killer disease in the world, killing 7.4 million individuals across the world as of 2012. Stroke trailed behind the ischaemic heart disease as the second leading cause of deaths in the world, with 6.7 million deaths as of 2012. Diseases such as COPD and lower respiratory trailed behind with a total recorded deaths 3.1 million deaths each.