Can young people get diabetes

Numbers and facts about diabetes mellitus


The fates


  • In Austria every tenth person suffers from diabetes mellitus. At least a third of those affected do not know anything about their illness.
  • Every 50 minutes in Austria someone dies of the consequences of diabetes. That's 10,000 people a year.
  • This means that more people in Austria die each year from diabetes mellitus than from colon cancer or breast cancer and much more than from road traffic.
  • Most deaths are due to heart attacks and strokes.
  • Every year 300 people with diabetes get dialysis because of their kidney failure. That is 26% of all patients who are new to dialysis.
  • Every year 200 people in Austria go blind as a result of diabetes mellitus.

The development


  • There are currently 800,000 people in Austria suffering from diabetes mellitus. In 2045 there will be more than 1 million people.
  • 85-90% of all people with diabetes suffer from type 2 diabetes.
  • One in ten pregnant women is currently affected by gestational diabetes.
  • Overweight and obesity as well as a sedentary lifestyle increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Around 50% of all people living in Austria are at least overweight.
  • Overweight is also steadily increasing among children: around 30 percent of boys in the third school year were overweight or obese in 2017, and the trend is rising.
  • 30,000 people in Austria suffer from type 1 diabetes, around 1,600 of whom are schoolchildren.

The costs


  • The total costs of diabetes in Austria are around 3 billion euros.
  • The majority of the costs are for the treatment of late complications of diabetes.
  • In 2019, more than 760 billion euros were spent on diabetes worldwide.


No, a diagnosis of diabetes means that the increased blood sugar can lead to long-term damage if not treated. So there is no such thing as mild or severe diabetes, every disease must be taken seriously.
There are many different types, the most common of which is type 2 diabetes, which makes up around 90% of all forms of diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the effect of the body's own hormone insulin is reduced, which is why blood sugar rises. In type 1 diabetes, which makes up around 5-10% of all forms of diabetes, a misdirected immune system leads to the destruction of the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
Both forms of diabetes are ultimately determined by genetic material (genes). While type 1 diabetes mainly affects children and adolescents up to early adulthood and its occurrence is not influenced by diet or exercise, 90% of people are affected by type 2 diabetes from midlife onwards. Lifestyle plays a very important role in this disease. The more overweight and motionless someone lives, the more likely it is that the disease will occur at a young age.
In most cases, unfortunately, none at all, which makes early diagnosis of the disease difficult. Only very high blood sugar levels cause symptoms such as B. tiredness, frequent urination, excessive thirst, vision problems etc.
Yes. With type 2 diabetes, in more than half of the cases there are already one or more people with diabetes in the family, and the mother in particular can inherit a high percentage of the disease. In type 1 diabetes, there is also a familial accumulation, but far less pronounced.
Type 1 diabetes only with insulin. In the case of type 2 diabetes, in addition to drug therapy with tablets or injections, you should definitely start with a lifestyle change in the sense of reducing the size of the abdomen and regular, moderate exercise; smoking cessation is also one of the important changes when diagnosing diabetes. Mediterranean diet has a beneficial effect on blood sugar and risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. In addition to blood sugar-lowering therapy, high LDL cholesterol levels and high blood pressure should be treated.
If, in the case of an absolute deficiency, insulin is not replaced, this leads to metabolic imbalances up to coma and death. This direct way of dying from diabetes is extremely rare these days. Frequently, however, patients die from the CONSEQUENCES of diabetes such as heart attack, stroke, kidney failure or diabetic gangrene. But because the connection with the underlying diabetes is not obvious for many people, the disease is often taken too lightly.
Around 800,000 people suffer from diabetes, which corresponds to around 10% of the population - and the trend is growing rapidly. A third of those affected do not know anything about the disease. In addition, there are more than 300,000 people with so-called prediabetes, with these people the risk of developing diabetes mellitus type 2 within the next few years is very high. The proportion of type 1 diabetes is much lower and is around 4% of people with diabetes; here too there is an increase, albeit on a much smaller scale. Around 1,600 school children are affected by type 1 diabetes. Most of them suffer from insulin deficiency diabetes, but the proportion of very overweight children is also increasing, which in some cases already leads to type 2 diabetes in childhood.
While type 1 diabetes usually has no other metabolic disorders apart from the existing insulin deficiency, type 2 diabetics have a lipid metabolism disorder and often increased blood pressure years before the diagnosis. Together with the increased blood sugar, these changes form the basis for an aggressively progressing vascular calcification, which forms the basis for all diabetes-related organ damage. Thus, diabetes that has been poorly treated for years can lead to damage to the retina, kidneys and nerves as well as to vasoconstriction or occlusions of large vessels, which then lead to heart attacks or strokes.
While type 1 diabetes usually has no other metabolic disorders apart from the existing insulin deficiency, type 2 diabetics have a lipid metabolism disorder and often increased blood pressure years before the diagnosis. Together with the increased blood sugar, these changes form the basis for an aggressively progressing vascular calcification, which forms the basis for all diabetes-related organ damage.
No, diabetes doesn't hurt, which is why the diagnosis is often made so late and often by chance.
No. In principle, all patients treated with insulin or tablets that can release insulin from the pancreas should measure their blood sugar, as there is a possibility of hypoglycaemia. For all other patients it is a matter of judgment and motivation. Blood sugar measurements provide information about the success of the therapy and also about which foods increase blood sugar particularly strongly.
For type 1 diabetes, the answer to this question is “yes”. In type 2 diabetes, the first phase of the disease is characterized by too much rather than too little insulin. After the length of the illness, however, an insulin deficiency can also develop in type 2 diabetes, which is why insulin then has to be injected.
No. Hypoglycaemia in the true sense of the word only occurs in patients treated with sulfonylureas or insulin. However, even patients without drug therapy or who are being treated with drugs that do not cause hypoglycaemia can sense when blood sugar is falling rapidly.
If you or someone in your family has suddenly developed thirst, frequent urination, unwanted weight loss, and increasing tiredness and fatigue - see your doctor immediately. A simple blood test will tell if you are affected. But even if you have no complaints, BUT someone in your family knows that they have or had type 2 diabetes, are themselves overweight and tend to be motionless, you should see your doctor!

FACE DIABETES - an initiative of the Austrian Diabetes Society (ÖDG) - a member of the IDF


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Austrian Diabetes Society (ÖDG)
Währinger Strasse 39/2/2, 1090 Vienna :: Tel .: + 43 650/770 33 78 :: [email protected]
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