Diabetes is a chronic, progressive disease that affects approximately 366 million people worldwide. According to the International Diabetes Federation, diabetes incidence rates are mounting, particularly in countries where a sedentary lifestyle and obesity are on the rise. Without significant intervention, one person in ten will have diabetes by 2030.
World Diabetes Day is a partnership of the International Diabetes Federation, World Health Organization and hundreds of organizations around the world, including Merck, which are committed to diabetes awareness, education and prevention. The 2012 World Diabetes Day theme, “Protecting Our Future,” aims to educate young people about the risks for diabetes with the goal of preventing it.
Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes; it is also known as non-insulin diabetes or adult-onset diabetes and accounts for 90-95 percent of all cases.
In addition to older age, other risk factors for diabetes include being obese, having a family history of diabetes, impaired glucose metabolism, and a sedentary lifestyle. African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, and some Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders are at particularly high risk for type 2 diabetes and its complications.
A number of studies have shown that regular physical activity can significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It is also an important part of a healthy lifestyle for people with type 2 diabetes. People of all ages – with and without diabetes – can benefit from physical activity, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Healthier eating and weight loss can also help delay or prevent the onset of diabetes, according to a major study funded by the U.S. government. Eat three to five servings of fruits and vegetables a day and reduce consumption of sugar and saturated fats.
The population of older pets has increased – close to 50 percent of cats and dogs in the U.S. are over six years old compared to just 40 percent in the mid-1990s. Just like their owners, these elderly pets face chronic diseases such as diabetes. Establish a relationship with a veterinarian who can help protect your pet's health.