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General News | May 18, 2004

Diabetes can be managed with a simple lifestyle

GNA

Accra May 19, GNA - Diabetes could be effectively managed and the risk of developing complications reduced substantially, when people adopt simple lifestyle such as a healthy diet and physical activity. This was contained in a statement issued jointly by the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Diabetes Federation (IDF) to mark the launch of a diabetes awareness programme dubbed "Diabetes Action Now".

The statement said: "Diabetes can be prevented through lifestyle interventions alone", and physical activities often combined with medication have been shown to be effective in promoting a full healthy life with diabetes.

The statement said the purpose of "Diabetes Action Now" was to raise awareness about diabetes, stimulate and support the adoption of effective measures for the management and prevention of the condition in low and middle-income countries.

It said diabetes was a major threat to global public health that was rapidly getting worse and had the biggest impact on adult of working age in developing countries.

It said in most developing countries at least one in 10 deaths in adults' aged 35 to 64 was attributed to diabetes and in some the figure was as high as one in five.

"Diabetes has become one of the major causes of premature illness and death in most countries, mainly through the increased risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD)" it stated.

"About 3.2 million deaths can be attributed to diabetes each year according to a new publication by the World Health Organization and the International Diabetes Federation. Updates estimates suggest that six deaths can be attributed to diabetes or related conditions every minute, a figure three times higher than previous calculations," the statement said.

It said diabetes was a common condition and the frequency was dramatically rising all over the world. In 2000, there were 171 million people with diabetes worldwide and this figure was expected to double, by 2030 to reach a total of 366 million. It said most of this increase would occur as a result of a 150 per cent rise in developing countries.

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