November is dedicated to diabetes awareness and 14 November is World Diabetes Day. Globally, there is an alarming rise in diabetes. In 2013, there were 347 million people with diabetes, compared with 153 million in 1980. Among people in their 30s and 40s the rate of diabetes also increased by 70% and 40% respectively. The World Health Organization estimates that 380 million people could have diabetes by 2025.
The majority of people with diabetes develop type 2 and about 80% of people diagnosed are not at their recommended body weight. One in every two South Africans is overweight or obese, which makes the risk of developing type 2 diabetes five times greater. Estimates suggest that in Africa at least 78% of people with diabetes are undiagnosed.
“The rate of increase in type 2 diabetes among both old and young, is a cause for concern. Action is necessary firstly to address the enormous burden of obesity, which has been linked to development of diabetes, and secondly, to make more people aware of the risks, and how to manage diabetes and prevent its complications. This is why from 2017, we will be enhancing our health programmes further by offering members access to coordinated care through DiabetesCare,” says Dr Noluthando Nematswerani, Head of Discovery’s Centre for Clinical Excellence.
DiabetesCare: a coordinated approach to manage diabetes
Including screening and early detection, DiabetesCare, will give those who enrolled access to:
- Coordinated care through a selected GP
- Additional support from other healthcare professionals
- Appropriate information to track progress
- Rewards for adhering to collect medicine and for improving personal health management
- Tailored programmes to eat healthily, and to manage weight and physical activity.
“It is possible to manage type 2 diabetes through lifestyle adjustments, such as following a healthy eating plan and doing regular exercise. Just a 5% to 10% reduction in body weight can significantly reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes. Once diagnosed, it is crucial to actively manage the condition to avoid complications. Through DiabetesCare, we aim to create greater awareness and provide additional support,” says Dr Nematswerani.
Know the signs of diabetes
See a doctor immediately when experiencing any one or a combination of these symptoms:
- Extreme thirst, tiredness, and excessive urination.
- Blurry vision, recurrent infections and rapid weight loss.
The health dossier from Discovery Vitality
Globally, type 2 diabetes is increasingly being diagnosed in children. The increased intake of sugary and processed foods and its association with weight gain support this rise in type 2 diabetes in the younger population. Discovery Vitality has developed a health dossier (attached) with information about obesity, obesity in children, the effects of diet on health, different types of diabetes, and lifestyle factors that can help prevent complications.
About Discovery Limited
Discovery Limited is a South African-founded financial services organisation that operates in the healthcare, life assurance, short-term insurance, savings and investment products and wellness markets. Founded in 1992, Discovery was guided by a clear core purpose – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. Underpinning this core purpose is the belief that through innovation, Discovery can be a powerful market disruptor.
The company, with headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, has expanded its operations globally and currently serves over 5 million clients across South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Singapore and Australia. Discovery recently partnered with Generali, a leading insurer in Europe, and has partnered with John Hancock in the US. These new partnerships will bring Discovery’s shared-value business model to protection industries in Europe and the US.
Vitality, Discovery’s wellness programme, is the world’s largest scientific, incentive-based wellness solution for individuals and corporates. The global Vitality membership base now exceeds three million lives in five markets.
Discovery is an authorised financial services provider and trades under the code “DSY” on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange.
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