Diabetes Facts & Figures

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. About 9 out of every 10 people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a major global epidemic, affecting over 256 million people1 and causing about 5% of all deaths in the world each year2

    • 4% of the UK population has type 2 diabetes3
    • The World Health Organization estimates that diabetes-related deaths will increase by more than 50% over the next 10 years4.
    • Studies have found the percentage of people with diabetes who also have sleep apnoea to be anywhere between 175 and 486 percent,, although the majority of these people have not been diagnosed for their sleep problem7.

What is type 2 diabetes & pre-diabetes?

Type 2 Diabetes

When you eat, your body breaks food down into a sugar called glucose. Glucose is the basic fuel that is used by the cells in your body. Your body makes a hormone called insulin to transport the glucose from the bloodstream into the cells. Once inside the cells, glucose can be used for energy.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body does not make enough insulin, or when your body cannot respond to the insulin it makes.

When the body cannot use insulin to transport glucose into the cells, the glucose builds up in the blood. Having too much glucose in the blood and not enough in the cells can lead to many health problems. In the short term, your cells may be starved for energy. Over the long term, the excess glucose may lead to serious diseases of the heart, eyes, kidneys, and nerves.

Your doctor will test for diabetes by measuring how much glucose is in your blood. This test may be done after you have fasted overnight (a fasting glucose test), or it might be done a couple hours after you have been given a special glucose drink (oral glucose tolerance test). If the amount of glucose in your blood is higher than a certain level, you have diabetes.

Pre-Diabetes

People with pre-diabetes have elevated levels of glucose in their blood, but the levels are not high enough to be classified as diabetes. People with pre-diabetes are at significant health risk.
Studies show that people with pre-diabetes, like those with type 2 diabetes, are at increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

Most people with pre-diabetes will progress to type 2 diabetes within 10 years. Lifestyle programs focused on diet and exercise can slow or prevent this progression.

For people with pre-diabetes who also have sleep apnoea, treatment of their sleep apnoea can reduce their risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease, and may help in the management of their pre-diabetes8

For more information on diabetes, visit the website of Diabetes UK.

RELATED LINKS:

References:

  1. Diabetes in the UK 2010: Key statistics on diabetes, Diabetes UK March 2010, www.diabetes.org.uk
  2. Murray CJL, Lopex A, 'The Global Burden of Disease', WHO: Geneva, 1996
  3. Diabetes in the UK 2010: Key statistics on diabetes, Diabetes UK March 2010, www.diabetes.org.uk
  4. Murray CJL, Lopex A, 'The Global Burden of Disease', WHO: Geneva, 1996
  5. West et al, 'Prevalence of obstructive sleep apnoea in men with type 2 diabetes', Thorax 61, 945-950, 2006
  6. Einhorn et al, 'Prevalence of sleep apnea in a population of adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus', Endocr Pract, 2007; Foster et al, Diabetes Care, 2009
  7. Einhorn et al, 'Prevalence of sleep apnea in a population of adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus', Endocr Pract, 2007; Foster et al, Diabetes Care, 2009
  8. Kohler et al, 'CPAP and measures of cardiovascular risk in males with OSAS', European Respiratory J, 2008