Diabetes: A fast evolving epidemic

Ali H M Ziyab, Anwar Mohammad, Elizabeth Maclean, Kazem Behbehani, Manuel Carballo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Diabetes is one of the most common and major chronic diseases of the 21 st century that affect people living in most parts of the world. Global trends suggest that diabetes has more than doubled over the past three decades and is projected to dramatically increase in the coming years. In addition to the clinical burden associated with the disease, diabetes has emerged as a global public health challenge. Most challenging is the shift in the disease paradigm from mainly being a disease of older ages to increasingly affecting children, adolescents, and young adults. Specifically, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), by far the most prevalent form of diabetes, and prediabetes, a high-risk state for developing T2DM, are rapidly emerging among the youth. Despite the magnitude of the epidemic and its consequences for individuals, their families, and society as a whole, the global response to diabetes as a public health threat has been slow. Today, many countries have still not been able, or seen fit, to put in place the type of national prevention and mitigation strategies or programs that are needed to deal with the growing challenge. To this end, the history, pathophysiology, epidemiology, and global trends of diabetes are discussed in this review. Moreover, the rising epidemic of T2DM and prediabetes among the youth and its risk factors, consequences, and prevention strategies are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-301
Number of pages11
JournalKuwait Medical Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2015


  • Epidemiology
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Prediabetes
  • Prevention


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