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Diabetes is considered the epidemic of the 21st century. Related to obesity and sedentary lifestyle, diabetes already affects 366 million people in the world, and is responsible for 4.6 million deaths per year. The WHO considers it important to prevent diabetes from childhood in order to prevent the projections from being met: in 20 years the cases will double worldwide and it will become the seventh leading cause of death globally.
Adolescents and children are also victims of diabetes, considered one of the most common chronic diseases at these ages. Currently, type 1 childhood diabetes accounts for between 10 and 15 percent of all diabetes and is the second most common chronic disease in childhood. In Spain, some 30,000 children under the age of 15 have diabetes and about 1,100 new cases occur each year.
And is that diabetes cases are increasing around the world, and particularly in developing countries, where more than 80 percent of deaths related to this disease occur. Almost half of deaths from diabetes are in people under 70 years of age, and 55 percent are women. In developed countries, the majority of diabetics are over 65 years of age, while in developing countries the most affected group is 35 to 64 years of age. In Spain, type 2 diabetes affects 13.8 percent of people, that is, almost 5 million Spaniards, although 6 percent do not know it.
Among the two major forms of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is that which begins in childhood or youth and is characterized by the fact that the body does not produce insulin. Its causes are still unknown and, therefore, it cannot be prevented, but the risk of developing it increases if you have relatives with type 1 diabetes, if the mother is older at the time of delivery or has been exposed to certain viral infections.
Type 2 diabetes was an adult disease. Due to age, overweight and sedentary lifestyle, the body begins to not use insulin effectively and accounts for 90 percent of world cases. However, previously rare cases of type 2 diabetes in children have risen worldwide, accounting for almost half of new cases diagnosed in children and adolescents in some countries. There is also a third type, which is gestational diabetes, characterized by hyperglycemia, an increase in blood sugar, which is detected for the first time during pregnancy.
Either type of diabetes is chronic, life-long disorder that requires constant monitoring and surveillance. Prevention is the best defense and, for this reason, on World Diabetes Day it is important to remember that a balanced and healthy diet, based on the intake of three to five daily servings of fruits and vegetables and a reduced amount of sugar and saturated fat), combined with sports or regular physical activity, 30 minutes of exercise a day help ward off diabetes or delay its onset.
Marisol New. Editor of Guiainfantil
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