Diabetes incidence in Serbia Reaches Alarming Level

Fri, 12/18/2015 - 15:14 By Sanja Stamenkovic, Jefferson Institute

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases, both in Serbia and worldwide. Diabetes occurs when the body can deal with its sugar deposits. This happens if the organism doesn't produce enough insulin, or the system can't use the insulin our bodies produce. According to the World Health Organization, around 350 million people have diabetes. In 2012 1.5 million people died of diabetes, of which more than 80% in low and middle-income countries. 

Institute of Public Health of Serbia released data according to which 12,4% adult population in Serbia suffer from some form of diabetes. 95% of total diabetes cases are type 2 diabetes. It is assumed that 36% of adults with diabetes aren't aware of their condition. It is also assumed that almost half of people suffering from diabetes in Serbia are older than 65. Approximately 2500 people die from diabetes in Serbia every year. Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death. 

Type 1 diabetes is also called juvenile diabetes, because it is manifested early in life. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 95% of all diabetes cases, and it usually appears in the elderly. 

When it comes to Serbian regions, type 1 diabetes is most prevalent in the region of Srem, with 37,3 cases per 100,000 population and Toplica with 31,7 incidence among the children up to 14 years old. The only region with no registered cases is Zaječar. 

Type 2 diabetes prevalence per 100,000 in population 75 years or older range from 87 to 324. The lowest incidence is in the region of the Serbia's capital - Belgrade. The highest incidence of diabetes incidence among the elderly is recorded in South Banat, with more than 324 cases of diabetes type 2 per 100,000 residents. The north of the country leads this infamous race. Numbers are becoming increasingly alarming, escpecially when keeping in mind that type 2 diabetes is preventable. Slight change of lifestyle - more physical activity and a healthier diet can mean a diabetes-free life. 

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