BBC: Deadly diabetes in ‘unrelenting march’

By | 6 April, 2016
Death stalking the pancreatically challenged hordes, yesterday

Death stalking the pancreatically challenged hordes, yesterday

The BBC has today reported that “the world is facing an ‘unrelenting march’ of diabetes which now affects nearly one in 11 adults” according to a new report from the World Health Organization.

In an unrelentingly cheerful article, the BBC gleefully point out that cases of diabetes (lumping type one and type two together) have nearly quadrupled to 422 million in 2014 from 108 million in 1980, leading to a tripling of the risk of a heart attack and leaving people 20 times more likely to have a leg amputated, as well as increasing the risk of stroke, kidney failure, blindness and complications in pregnancy. Whoo hoo!

The laugh-a-minute report says that diabetes itself is the eighth biggest killer in the world, accounting for 1.5 million deaths each year and that a further 2.2 million deaths are linked to high blood sugar levels. And that 43% of the deaths were before the age of 70.

So there we have it. What are your views on the report? Are you glad to welcome more people to the cool-as-hell diabetic club? Or are you a hipster diabetic, who got it waaaay before it was cool and resent all these new, Johnny-come-lately pretenders joining in the fun?

11 thoughts on “BBC: Deadly diabetes in ‘unrelenting march’

  1. Tim

    I’ve seen a bit of chat of social media about this report and how it has, in turn, been reported, with the usual complaints that Type One and Type Two have been lumped together.

    Regardless of type, complications occur, we all need treatment, care and access to supplies and technology. So I think the more important stuff is the actual content of the report – the how and why the occurrence of diabetes of any type is increasing and what can be done about it.

    My view is that the T1 / T2 distinction is splitting hairs and a bit of a red herring. Discuss!

  2. Alison

    The short answer is you can never please a diabetic http://www.shootuporputup.co.uk/2012/01/you-can-never-please-a-diabetic/

    But my longer answer is that while I have depressingly low expectations of the media, I don’t expect the WHO to sink to the same misinformed levels. They need to demonstrate a basic grasp of the fact that while lumping the two together for some purposes (to make diabetes as a whole a more attractive business case for investment and to create a good media scare story) may be a good thing, it’s actually a pretty misleading approach when it comes to determining what actions need to be taken and it would be nice if they could resist the temptation to behave like they work for the Daily Fail when writing their press releases.

    And on a personal level, the shitstorm this type of press coverage creates seems to be leading to an ever increasing number of idiots (and often people I hadn’t previously classed as idiots) thinking it is amusing to say “I nearly gave myself diabetes with all the chocolate I ate at Easter”.

    I’m finding it increasingly hard not to slap these people. I fear I may resort to daring them to tell a parent of a Type1 kid that they caused it by feeding them too many sweets. I think that would increase the rate of limb-loss, serious injury and death in the non-diabetic population dramatically.

    1. Tim

      Good article Alison, I enjoyed reading it again (actually, I never read your articles 😉 ). It reminds me that these sorts of issues keep coming up again and again and again and lo and behold! it’s all quite complicated with conflicting interests and intentions.

      Diabetes does seems to get more attention in the press than it did, say, ten year’s ago when I was first diagnosed (or maybe I just didn’t notice it then). But I’ve never, ever had anyone say anything like “too many sweets give me diabetes, lol” to my face. Does this sort of thing happen a lot to other people? Am I just an exception?

      1. Alison

        Or is there any subject we can’t shoehorn a previous article into?!
        Onwards comrade. Do I assume a diabetic army marches on stomachs packed full of sweets? Fuelled by sherbet bombs and liquorice torpedoes?

  3. Sue Clewer

    Just to make life more interesting, what about betting on our odds of getting any of the other frills and fancies that can go with this wonderful condition. I bet £50 I don’t lose a limb before my 6oth birthday. Any takers?
    Obviously, if I leave a limb on the bus or in a shop, that won’t count!!!!

    1. Tim

      I think that’s an excellent idea, Sue! I popped into Ladbrokes this morning and put £75 on not developing severe proliferative retinopathy before my 40th birthday. If I get it then I’m blind but on the other hand I’m quids in!! Woo!

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