Diabetes - new campaign in Netherlands

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Each year diabetes kills around 3,000 people in the Netherlands - the same number as those who die of breast cancer, the Diabetes Fund has said at the start of a new information campaign about the disease’s dangers.

Many people do not realise they have diabetes even though it is already undermining their health, making them, for example, more prone to cardiovascular diseases and kidney failure. Diabetes patients are also more likely to become blind, suffer from dementia earlier or have to undergo amputations.

Around one million people in the Netherlands are diabetic, the Diabetes Fund estimates, but one quarter of them are unaware of their illness. The campaign hopes to alert them to their disease so they can take steps to reduce the accompanying risks by changing their lifestyle and, if necessary, seeking medical treatment.

The number of diabetics is growing fast. Experts estimate that each day some 200 people develop the disease. The increase in diabetes has been attributed to the rising number of overweight people, who are at greater risk of getting the disease.

One aim of the information campaign is to raise money to fund further research, as the exact mechanism of the disease is still not fully understood. In the United States the Centers for Disease Control have already declared the rapid spread of diabetes to be an epidemic.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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