Latest figures from the International Diabetes Federation suggest that 382 million people in the world are living with diabetes.
According to the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, 18.98 per cent of the UAE’s population have the condition, placing the nation 15th among nations with the highest diabetes prevalence per capita.
Diabetes is also a regional challenge. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar all feature in the top 10 countries worldwide.
These statistics indicate that the region has high risk factors for diabetes, mostly related to rising obesity rates and physical inactivity.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the pancreas is attacked by autoantibodies causing it to fail. It mostly develops before adulthood in younger people and remains with them throughout their life.
Type 2 diabetes is mainly brought on by an unhealthy, inactive lifestyle, weight gain and genetics. Obesity is known to increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in adulthood.
Those at increased risk include individuals who have a history of diabetes in their family, and people over 40.
Diabetes is among the leading causes of kidney failure and increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.