WHO estimates that there are 347 million people worldwide (approx. 8.5 percent of the adult population) with diabetes and that by 2030 it will be the seventh leading cause of death. In 2004 an estimated 3.4 million died from the consequences of diabetes and over 80 percent of these deaths occurred in low-income and middle-income countries. Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are increasing. The common consequences of diabetes include damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves. The economic burden of diabetes is immense and in 2013 diabetes will take up 11 percent of worldwide health expenditure – $548 billion. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented (or at least delayed) by a number of simple lifestyle changes: remaining physically active, eating healthily, and not smoking. In addition there are effective treatments for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, including insulin, other oral and injectable medicines, self-management support, blood pressure control and foot care.
The Forum will make actionable recommendations to enable policymakers to more effectively prevent diabetes within their populations, and also to ensure effective treatment for those with the illness.
Forum Chair: Professor Stephen Colagiuri
Professor of Metabolic Health at the University of Sydney, Australia
Stephen Colagiuri is the Professor of Metabolic Health and Director of Boden Institute for Obesity, Nutrition and Exercise at the University of Sydney. He is also Co-Director of the Boden Institute’s World Health Organization Collaborating Centre on Physical Activity, Nutrition and Obesity. His research interests focus on the development and implementation of evidence-based guidelines, cardiometabolic and vascular risk assessment, diabetes screening and prevention, the glycemic index, economic aspects of diabetes and obesity, and diabetes care delivery in developing countries.
He has previously served as President of the Australian Diabetes Society and Chair of the International Diabetes Federation Task Force on Clinical Guidelines. He is a member of the Diabetes Expert Advisory Committee of the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care and an advisor on diabetes to the World Health Organization.
Professor Colagiuri is currently Editor-in-Chief of the IDF journal, Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, and has published over 200 scientific papers on diabetes.