Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in children and adolescents in the UK: a look into interventions
Diabetes mellitus(DM) is a “growing epidemic” of the twenty first century (Wild et al. 2004) which is a medical and social problem in economically developed and, recently too, in developing countries. Professor Stig Pramming, director of the Oxford Health Alliance, in a report published by the Economist Intelligence Unit stated: “This epidemic is responsible for many more deaths than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. The tragedy is that this crisis is largely avoidable.” (The silent epidemic 2007 p. 4)
In 2000 prevalence of diabetes worldwide was 171 million people, and the World Health Organization (WHO) (2001) predicted that the number will double to 366 million by the year 2030. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) also made estimates in 2006 on diabetes cases worldwide (IDF 2006) in which similar trends with WHO were shown. The most recent research was conducted by Shaw et al. (2009) who estimated the number of people worldwide with diabetes for the years 2010 and 2030. These estimates suggested that there will be 285 million adults having the condition and an increase up to 439 million adults by 2030 (a 69 per cent increase in numbers of people with diabetes in developing countries and a 20 per cent increase in developed countries). However, WHO (2011) estimated that there are 346 million people diagnosed with diabetes at the moment with the largest number of people diagnosed with diabetes is in the United States (US) (18,8 million people are diagnosed and 7 million people are not diagnosed) (National Diabetes Statistics 2011). A look into Europe shows that there are approximately 32 million people with diabetes of which 90 per cent have type 2 diabetes mellitus (Beale et al. 2006). To look at the issue in the United Kingdom (UK): Diabetes UK (2010) estimated that there were 2.6 million people in the United Kingdom (UK) who had been diagnosed with diabetes in 2009, and the number is expected to increase to more than 4 million people by 2025. To be more precise, the recent numbers of diabetes cases in the UK are: 2,455,937 in England; 223,494 in Scotland; 160,533 in Wales; and 72,693 in Northern Ireland (The Health and Social Care Information Centre 2011). In addition, approximately 750,000 people had diabetes but were not aware of it (Diabetes UK 2006). It is noteworthy to add that DM is a potentially life-threatening and costly disease which can affect nearly everyone, regardless of ethnicity, sex, and age (Ritchie et al. 2003). It is strongly related to political (Robert and Mihai 2004) and economic change as well as to lifestyle of the population as well (King et al. 1991). The aims of this paper is to look more in depth into type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in youth and interventions to prevent T2DM which has become an emerging epidemic in the UK. Diabetes mellitus is a non-communicable disease which can be described as a group of metabolic disorders of various etiologies characterized by chronic hyperglycaemia (high levels of glucose in blood) with disturbances of carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism results from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both (WHO 1999). If diabetes (chronic hyperglycaemia) is not controlled by a patient it leads to long-term macrovascular (arteries, heart) and microvascular (eyes, kidneys, lower limbs) complications with dysfunction and failure of various organs, leading to blindness, renal failure, neuropathy (foot ulcers), and atherosclerosis (Diabetes UK 2011). There are various categories of diabetes. They differ in terms of etiology, onset period, and pathophysiology. The most prevalent is type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), formerly known as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile-onset diabetes mellitus which is known as an autoimmune disease without any successful prevention methods (Parent et al. 2009). However, type 2 diabetes mellitus, formerly...
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