The Roche Column

Spotlight on the global rise of diabetes


Did you know there are now more than 422 million people living with diabetes around the world? In the Middle East alone, it is estimated that the number of people with diabetes will double to 72.1 million by 2040 with the highest prevalence in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait at 17.6% and 14.3% respectively. What is surprising is that this pandemic, to a large extent, can be prevented with the promotion of a healthy lifestyle.

The number of adults with diabetes has been rising since the 1980s and shows no signs of slowing down. Diabetes now affects 1 in every 11 adults worldwide. In 2015, an estimated 5 million people died due to diabetes-related complications, with more than 80 percent of deaths occurring in developing countries. Without effective prevention and control, diabetes will become the seventh leading cause of death globally by 2030. This health crisis comes with a heavy price tag as the complications of diabetes often include heart problems, kidney failure, blindness or lower limb amputation.

Diabetes affects the body’s insulin production which regulates the blood’s glucose concentration. There are three forms of the disease: type 1 which is the complete lack of insulin production, type 2 is characterized by the body’s inability to effectively use insulin and type 3 occurs during pregnancy.

In reality, diabetes is manageable. With over 40 years of innovation and expertise in the field, Roche continues to support patients by empowering them with selfmanagement solutions to improve therapy and outcomes, and reduce the human and economic burden of diabetes. These innovative solutions are providing accurate, safe diabetes management – at home or on the go.

Today, daily injections throughout the day are replaced with small and sophisticated blood glucose monitoring devices, where meters and insulin pumps connect seamlessly via bluetooth. Applications transmit blood glucose data from the meter via a smartphone directly to the healthcare provider through cloud-based platforms. It is through this regular self-monitoring that people with diabetes and their doctors can tackle this disease head on.

Taking a structured approach to personalize diabetes management gives peace of mind to patients by providing them with a better understanding of their disease and how their body is responding. Roche has consistently invested in high-quality solutions for patients, giving them the tools they need to stay in control of their health and live full, active and unrestricted lives.


1. International Diabetes Federation, IDF Diabetes Atlas, 7th edition, IDF, 2015. Last accessed May 2016 at

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. World Health Organization, ‘Global Health Estimates: Deaths by Cause, Age, Sex and Country, 2000-2012’. Geneva, WHO, 2014. Last accessed May 2016 at

5. Mathers CD, Loncar D. (2006), ‘Projections of global mortality and burden of disease from 2002 to 2030’, PLoS Med, 3(11): e442.

6. International Diabetes Federation, IDF Diabetes Atlas, 7th edition, IDF, 2015. Last accessed May 2016 at

7. International Diabetes Federation Diabetes Atlas 2016. Last accessed June 2016 at across-the-globe.html

 Date of upload: 8th July 2016


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