Thursday, April 18, 2013 - 08:44
Over 800,000 Diabetics
The number of diabetics has been rising sharply since 2000, according to the National Institute for Public Health (RIVM). On January 1, 2011, there were over 800,000 people in our country with diabetes known to general practitioners. RIVM says the real number is probably a quarter higher because not everyone with the disease is known to doctors. The Institute further states that there are on top of that about 750,000 people, aged between 30 and 70 years, with disturbed glucose tolerance. These individuals have an increased risk of developing diabetes. To be precise, there were 801,000 known diabetics on January 1, 2011. That means 48 diabetics per every 1,000 Dutch. There are more diabetic men in the population with ages between 40 and 75 years, and in the over 75-years-old group, more women have diabetics. The highest percentage of diabetics is found in the age range of 70 to 80 years, both for men and women. There are two forms of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Both are incurable. Type 1 manifests itself in childhood. Type 2 is known as onset diabetes, but an unhealthy lifestyle coupled with genetic factors may have the effect that even young people from twenty years can also be affected by this form. Of all diabetics 90 percent suffer from type 2. Hanneke Dessing director of the Diabetes Foundation calls diabetes a silent killer that can cause heart attacks, dementia and blindness. “To stop diabetes, we need to invest much money in research to treat and cure it. In only half of the cases can a healthy lifestyle prevent diabetes.” The last official publication of diabetes numbers was in 2007, with an estimate of 668,000 diabetics by January 1, 2007. These numbers were partly based on other records than those used for the new study. A direct comparison with the current estimate is hence difficult, says the RIVM. Nevertheless, two long-term studies show an increase in the number of diabetic patients over the years.