The International Diabetes Federation is proud to release the fourth edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas at the 20th World Diabetes Congress in October 2009 in Montreal. The IDF Diabetes Atlas aims to provide healthcare professionals, scientists, health economists, policy makers, national and international governmental agencies with evidence-based information and projections on the current and future magnitude of the diabetes epidemic.
Testament to the acceptance of the previous edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas (3rd edition, 2006) has been the use of its data and projections in publications from the World Health Organization, The World Bank, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Economic Forum.
It is interesting to reflect that in the first edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas, released in 2000, the estimated global diabetes prevalence was 151 million. In this newest edition, the estimated diabetes prevalence for 2010 has risen to 285 million, representing 6.4% of the world’s adult population, with a prediction that by 2030 the number of people with diabetes will have risen to 438 million. Far from being a disease of higher income nations, diabetes is very much a disease associated with poverty, with the major burden borne by the low- and middle-income countries and disproportionately affecting the lower socio-economic groups, the disadvantaged and the minorities in the richer countries.
The potential impact of diabetes as a development issue was recognized by the United Nations in 2006 in Resolution 61/225 when it stated that “diabetes is a chronic, debilitating and costly disease associated with severe complications, which poses severe risks for families, Member States and the entire world and serious challenges to the achievement of internationally agreed development goals including the Millennium Development Goals”.
In the words of Mr Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary-General, “Cancer, diabetes, heart diseases are no longer the diseases of the wealthy. Today, they hamper the people and the economies of the poorest populations, even more than infectious diseases. This represents a public health emergency in slow motion.”
The World Economic Forum 2009 Global Risks Landscape assessment report identified chronic diseases as one of the most significant risks facing the global economies, exceeded only by the risks posed by sudden oil/gas price rises, retrenchment from globalization, asset price collapse and a slowing of the Chinese economy.
Yet, despite these statements, the International Diabetes Federation recognizes that the global community still has not fully appreciated the urgent need to increase funding for non-communicable diseases (NCDs), to make essential NCD medicines available for all and to include the treatment of diabetes and other NCDs into strengthened primary healthcare systems. The evidence for the need to act will soon be overwhelming and this edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas has more detailed data on diabetes, co-morbidities and costs than ever.
On behalf of the ‘diabetes world', the International Diabetes Federation expresses its gratitude to all who contributed so generously with their time and talents to this edition and to the sponsors for their financial support. It represents an enormous body of work from a very large number of dedicated experts and staff. It is a state-of-the-art document summarizing the best available evidence-based information on diabetes from around the world and presents it in a more concise fashion than in previous editions. It is complemented by a CD-ROM as well as an online interactive web-based version which will allow readers to download graphs and data tables.
International Diabetes Federation