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Diabetes is a debilitating disease that affects an estimated 19 million people in the 25 Member States of the European Union (over 4% of the population) and is a major cause of death. Recent projections, based on the assumption of a stable obesity rate, foresee that at least about 26 million citizens in the EU (about 6% of the population) will be affected by 2030.This rate could go even higher as more as more people have a sedentary lifestyle/unbalanced diet and become overweight, thereby risking developing type 2 diabetes. Finally, it should be noted that an estimated one-third of diabetes incidence in Europeans is still undiagnosed.
Diabetes lowers average life expectancy by up to 15 years, increases cardiovascular disease risk two to four-fold, and is the leading cause of kidney failure, lower limb amputations, and adult-onset blindness.
In addition to these human costs,the estimated financial costs of diabetes are staggering.Effective therapy and life-style intervention can delay the onset of disease complications.
Research financed by the European Community aims to contribute to the fight against diabetes, as well as against related diseases, mainly obesity and syndrome X (a combination of obesity and insulin resistance).

Additional information

Authors: NIMMESGERN E, European Commission, DG Research, Brussels (BE);VERCRUYSSE N, European Commission, DG Research, Brussels (BE)
Bibliographic Reference: Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2004. 58 pp, free of charge
Availability: EUR-OP reference: KI-62-04-567-EN-C Available from: Documentation Service of DG Research Fax: +32 2 295 8220 E-mail:
ISBN: ISBN: 92-894-8245-1
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