World Diabetes Day 2022: ‘Education to protect tomorrow’

• Today is World Diabetes Day (WDD), the world’s largest diabetes awareness event
• Diabetes is a chronic disease where blood sugar levels are too high
• One in ten adults live with the condition, with over half a billion people affected
• The campaign’s organisers are IDF, the World Health Organisation and the United Nations
• This year’s WDD theme is ‘Education to protect tomorrow

Every 14th of November, an annual campaign to keep diabetes firmly in the public consciousness takes place – World Diabetes Day (WDD). Diabetes is when the body is unable to regulate blood sugar levels, resulting in abnormally high concentrations. There are two types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is genetic and normally shows up early, and is marked by a sudden onset of symptoms; type 2 is usually lifestyle related and acquired in later life, with a more gradual onset of symptoms. The condition is chronic and usually life long, although lifestyle and diet changes can sometimes reverse type 2 diabetes. Complications of diabetes can include damage to the heart, kidneys and eyes. With treatment such as regular blood monitoring and insulin therapy, most people with the condition are able to live a normal life. However, it is a serious disease and causes 1.5 million premature deaths globally per year.

Organisers IDF, the World Health Organization and the United Nations have chosen a theme this year for WWD focused on improving everyone’s access to diabetes education. ‘Education to protect tomorrow’ calls on policymakers to take action to make sure that people are given the information and resources they need to tackle the disease. We’ve selected educative articles about diabetes research for you to help achieve the event’s goal of universal access to diabetes information. Read on to find out about the underlying genetics of type 1 diabetes, how disordered fat storage enhances development of type 2 diabetes, and the likely link between hypoxia and COVID-19 induced diabetes, underlying genetics of Type 1 diabetes, how disordered fat storage enhances development of type 2 diabetes, and the likely link between hypoxia and COVID-19 induced diabetes, underlying genetics of type 1 diabetes

Disordered fat storage enhances development of type 2 diabetes

Diabetes is a devastating, life-changing condition. Professor André Carpentier and his colleagues from Université de Sherbrooke are exploring how obesity increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. After all, abnormal fat storage can lead to insulin resistance, which endangers organ function. Through his and his team’s research, Dr Carpentier aims to develop therapeutic measures which reverse detrimental pre-diabetic effects.

A probable link between hypoxia and COVID-19 induced diabetes

Sudden onset diabetic symptoms, exhibited by many patients hospitalised with COVID-19, have been perplexing for many scientists around the world. Dr Eung-Kwon Pae, Associate Professor at the University of Maryland, is working with his team on the hypothesis that the cases of diabetes observed in COVID-19 patients could be linked to intermittent hypoxia (IH), a condition in which the body is intermittently deprived of the normal levels of oxygen.

Exploring the underlying genetics of type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that has a very significant genetic component. However, it is not yet fully understood how genetic variation relates to the underlying mechanism of disease. Dr John Mordes, University of Massachusetts Medical School, studies genetic susceptibility to type 1 diabetes. His recent work identified a short genetic sequence that may be used to better identify those at risk of type 1 diabetes and also to shed light on the pathophysiology of disease.

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