The World Diabetes Day is observed on 14 November to raise the public awareness of the fact that it is becoming a large-scale epidemic, given that 400 million people are believed to be suffering from that disease, and by 2035, 600 million may be living with diabetes.
In Croatia, an estimated 400,000 people have this disease, including 254,000 adults who have been diagnosed with it.
The number of patients stricken by high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period is on the rise.
Only 7.5 % of diabetes patients live without any complications, and the most frequent complications are strokes and diabetic nephropathy, blindness and foot problems (such as diabetic foot ulcers) which can be difficult to treat, occasionally requiring amputation.
Costs of treatment of this disease in Croatia are 2.5 billion kuna annually, which is 11.5% of the budget of the HZZO national health insurance agency. In Croatia, 130 children are annually diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Diabetes is estimated to result in 5.3 million deaths annually, with every second dead person being under 60.
In 2014, over 600 billion US dollars was spent on treating this disease worldwide.