Dutch campaign: diabetes silent killer

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Diabetes every year kills around 3,000 people in the Netherlands —as many people as those who die of breast cancer, the Diabetes Fund says at the start of an information campaign about the disease’s dangers.

Many people do not realise they have diabetes even as it affects their health, making them, for example, more prone to cardiovascular diseases and kidney failure. Diabetes patients are also likelier 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 do not know. The campaign hopes to alert them so they can take steps to lower the risks by changing their lifestyle and, if necessary, seeking medical treatment.

The number of diabetics is growing fast. Experts estimate some 200 people develop the disease every day. The spread of diabetes has been related 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 declared the rapid spread of diabetes an epidemic.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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