According to statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of people with diabetes has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. The global prevalence of diabetes among adults over 18 years of age has risen from 4.7 per cent in 1980 to 8.5 per cent in 2014.WHO projects that diabetes will be the seventh-leading cause of death in 2030.
Type 2 diabetes, which is on the increase worldwide, is caused principally by poor diet and unhealthy lifestyle. In the past three decades, the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes has risen dramatically in countries, more so in middle and low-income countries and is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation.
Diabetes is a serious, potentially life-threatening illness, which must be taken seriously. The occurrence of diabetes is growing at concerning levels throughout the Caribbean region. Over time, high blood glucose levels damage nerves and blood vessels, leading to complications such as heart disease and stroke, which are the leading cause of death among people with diabetes.