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QUICK FACTS on raised blood glucose (diabetes)

  • Diabetes is defined as having a fasting plasma glucose value of 7.0 mmol/l (126 mg/dl) or higher.
  • In 2008, diabetes was responsible for 1.3 million deaths globally.
  • In 2008, the global prevalence of diabetes was estimated to be 10 per cent.
  • CVD accounts for about 60 per cent of all mortality in people with diabetes.
  • The risk of cardiovascular events is from two to three times higher in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes and the risk is disproportionately higher in women.
  • In some age groups, people with diabetes have a two-fold increase in the risk of stroke.
  • Patients with diabetes also have a poorer prognosis after cardiovascular events compared to people without diabetes.
  • Cardiovascular risk increases with raised glucose values.
  • Lack of early detection and care for diabetes results in severe complications, including heart attacks, strokes, renal failure, amputations and blindness.
  • Primary care access to measurement of blood glucose and cardiovascular risk assessment as well as essential medicines including insulin can improve health outcomes of people with diabetes.


Global Atlas on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Control. Mendis S, Puska P, Norrving B editors. World Health Organization (in collaboration with the World Heart Federation and World Stroke Organization), Geneva 2011. 

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