Diabetes, progressive disease

Diabetes, progressive disease

The prevalence of diabetes (type 1 and type 2, both diagnosed and undiagnosed) has been steadily increasing in the last twenty years. In 2021, it affected 537 million people worldwide, of which 4.5 million in France. According to the International Diabetes Federation, almost one in ten adults could be affected by 2045. Diabetes can be a serious disease that causes almost 2 million people a year if left untreated. Diabetes corresponds to a long-term increase in blood glucose levels. In type 1 diabetes, this disorder is caused by insufficient production of insulin. While type 2 diabetes is associated with poor insulin utilization in the body.

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In France, the prevalence of diabetes increased from 4.6% in 2012 to 5.3% in 2020, ie more than 3.5 million people treated pharmacologically, according to the Weekly Epidemiological Bulletin (BEH) of Public Health France (SPF) of November 2021, based on Medicare data, of which 850,000 are treated with insulin. To these numbers are added persons who have been identified but have not been treated or who do not know each other. The disease is more common among the most socio-economically disadvantaged, adds SPF.

Type 2 diabetes is by far the most common (90%). The prevalence is increasing by 2.5% to 3% every year due to the aging of the population. It is often associated with lifestyle changes, too rich or unbalanced diet and lack of physical activity. As a result, obesity is becoming more common among children, adolescents and young adults.

Epigenetic factors

Type 225 diabetes affects approximately 225,000 people in France. It has been growing at about 4.5% a year for the last ten years. 2,500 people are diagnosed each year, mainly children or young people, according to BEH. “The challenge of diagnosis remains great, it is necessary to pay attention to the warning signs of the disease, when the child begins to re-wet the bed, often urinates, drinks a lot, because even today it is often detected too late.” insists Carine Choleau of the Young Diabetes Association (AJD).

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If the reasons for this increase are not very clear, “Several environmental epigenetic factors [déterminants de santé et perturbateurs endocriniens] can explain it “says Jean-François Thébaut, Vice President of the French Diabetes Federation. “The explanation at the moment holds the line: some put forward a hygienic hypothesis, which means that a highly disinfected environment would weaken the immune system.” says Jean-Pierre Riveline, head of the University Center for Diabetes and Complications (CUDC) at Lariboisière Hospital (APHP). Studies have also suggested a role for viral infections in the incidence of type 1 diabetes, such as Coxsackie B virus.

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