FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Russia’s Insidious Epidemic

The prevalence of diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes, is rapidly increasing in most countries in the world. The increase of cases in Russia is a cause for concern –one out of every two people do not know they have the disease–, as initially it does not show any symptoms. Four million people have been diagnosed with diabetes in Russia, and almost six million people are unaware of their disease.
 
According to the International Diabetes Federation, there are 387 million people living with diabetes worldwide today, and it is estimated that by 2035, some 592 million people will be living with it. The burden on the economy is considerable. In Russia, the annual cost of caring for diabetic patients is $12.5 billion.
 
According to statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO,) there are 60 million people with diabetes in the European Region, or about 10.3% of men and 9.6% of women aged 25 years and over. In the U.S., 29 million people have diabetes, up from the previous estimate of 26 million in 2010.
 
Between 40 to 50 percent of newly diagnosed people have one or more complications. Kidney disease, one of diabetes most common complications, may lead to kidney failure. Other complications are diabetic retinopathy which affects blood vessels in the retina, damage of lower-extremity blood vessels, which may lead to gangrene and amputations, and arteriosclerotic changes of the major blood vessels, which increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
 
These complications are important not only from the point of view of people’s health but also for their economic impact. More than 90 percent of diabetes expenditures are for the treatment of diabetes-related complications. Russia’s Federal Targeted Programme on Diabetes states that earlier diagnosing diabetes and treating its complications earlier can result in significant savings.
 
If one takes into consideration the increase in the number of cases of diabetes and the increase in life expectancy, one can predict that there will also be a steady increase in the number of diabetes patients who have complications. This is particularly true in the case of people living in big cities, where the lifestyle is more sedentary, stress levels are higher and there is greater consumption of foods rich in fast-absorbing carbohydrates.
 
These changes in lifestyle are probably the reason why diabetes is now being seen at earlier ages. Until recently, mostly people who were 50 years of age or older were diagnosed with the disease. However, more patients in their 30s and 40s now have diabetes, probably as result of those unhealthy lifestyles. It is estimated that more than 66,000 people die from diabetes-related causes every year in Russia.
 
In recent years, several public health campaigns have been conducted to teach people some basic health lifestyle principles. However, more programs, particularly in smaller cities, are needed that specifically target diabetes awareness and prevention issues, since these are the most effective ways of addressing the disease.
 
Approximately 26 percent of the population over the age of 15 is obese in Russia. This figure will increase to 30 percent in 2030. Because being overweight or obese affects the body’s ability to properly adjust blood sugar levels –thus increasing the risk of diabetes by up to 20 times– dealing with the issue of obesity is another way of keeping diabetes under control.
 
What is needed is a wide spectrum public health government-sponsored program that will 1) raise awareness about diabetes, 2) improve data collection and analysis, 3) increase access to knowledge about diabetes both among patients and also among doctors, particularly on how to deal with its complications, 4) facilitate screening of patients and accessibility to treatment, 5) provide financial support for basic and applied research on diabetes. Diabetes in Russia today should be treated as the serious threat it really is.

More articles by:

Dr. Cesar Chelala is a co-winner of the 1979 Overseas Press Club of America award for the article “Missing or Disappeared in Argentina: The Desperate Search for Thousands of Abducted Victims.”

February 21, 2019
Nick Pemberton
Israel, Venezuela and Nationalism In The Neoliberal Era
Chris Orlet
The Bill and Melinda Gates’ Fair Taxation Scaremongering Tour
Bruce E. Levine
“Heavy Drinking” and the NYT’s Offensive Obit on Herbert Fingarette
Lisi Krall
This Historical Moment Demands Transformation of Our Institutions. The Green New Deal Won’t Do That
Stephanie Savell
Mapping the American War on Terror: Now in 80 Countries
Daniel Warner
New York, New York: a Resounding Victory for New York Over Amazon
Russell Mokhiber
With Monsanto and Glyphosate on the Run AAAS Revokes Award to Scientists Whose Studies Led to Ban on Weedkiller in Sri Lanka and Other Countries
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s Fake National Emergency Moves America Closer to an Autocracy
Alex Campbell
Tracing the Threads in Venezuela: Humanitarian Aid
Jonah Raskin
Mitchel Cohen Takes on Global and Local Goliaths: Profile of a Lifelong Multi-Movement Organizer
Binoy Kampmark
Size Matters: the Demise of the Airbus A380
Elliot Sperber
For Your Children (or: Dead Ahead)
February 20, 2019
Anthony DiMaggio
Withdrawal Pains and Syrian Civil War: An Analysis of U.S. Media Discourse
Charles Pierson
When Saudi Arabia Gets the Bomb
Doug Johnson Hatlem
“Electability” is Real (Unless Married with the Junk Science of Ideological Spectrum Analysis)
Kenneth Surin
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline: Another Boondoggle in Virginia
John Feffer
The Psychology of the Wall
Dean Baker
Modern Monetary Theory and Taxing the Rich
Russell Mokhiber
Citizens Arrested Calling Out Manchin on Rockwool
George Ochenski
Unconstitutional Power Grabs
Michael T. Klare
War With China? It’s Already Under Way
Thomas Knapp
The Real Emergency Isn’t About the Wall, It’s About the Separation of Powers
Manuel García, Jr.
Two Worlds
Daniel Warner
The Martin Ennals and Victorian Prize Winners Contrast with Australia’s Policies against Human Dignity
Norman Solomon
What the Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign Means for Progressives
Dan Corjescu
2020 Vision: A Strategy of Courage
Matthew Johnson
Why Protest Trump When We Can Impeach Him?
William A. Cohn
Something New and Something Old: a Story Still Being Told
Bill Martin
The Fourth Hypothesis: the Present Juncture of the Trump Clarification and the Watershed Moment on the Washington Mall
February 19, 2019
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Troublesome Possibilities: The Left and Tulsi Gabbard
Patrick Cockburn
She Didn’t Start the Fire: Why Attack the ISIS Bride?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Literature and Theater During War: Why Euripides Still Matters
Maximilian Werner
The Night of Terror: Wyoming Game and Fish’s Latest Attempt to Close the Book on the Mark Uptain Tragedy
Conn Hallinan
Erdogan is Destined for Another Rebuke in Turkey
Nyla Ali Khan
Politics of Jammu and Kashmir: The Only Viable Way is Forward
Mark Ashwill
On the Outside Looking In: an American in Vietnam
Joyce Nelson
Sir Richard Branson’s Venezuelan-Border PR Stunt
Ron Jacobs
Day of Remembrance and the Music of Anthony Brown        
Cesar Chelala
Women’s Critical Role in Saving the Environment
February 18, 2019
Paul Street
31 Actual National Emergencies
Robert Fisk
What Happened to the Remains of Khashoggi’s Predecessor?
David Mattson
When Grizzly Bears Go Bad: Constructions of Victimhood and Blame
Julian Vigo
USMCA’s Outsourcing of Free Speech to Big Tech
George Wuerthner
How the BLM Serves the West’s Welfare Ranchers
Christopher Fons
The Crimes of Elliot Abrams
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail