After understanding what diabetes is, it is useful for us to understand how large of a problem Diabetes is in the Philippines and who is affected.
Worldwide there are more than 371 Million people with confirmed Diabetes.
In the Philippines the number of reported cases is: 4,321,459 (4.3 Million) out of a measured adult population ( Ages 20-79) of 52,590,480 (52.6 Million)
That equates to a rate of: 8.22 Percent of the adult population ages 20-79 living with a confirmed case of Diabetes in the Philippines.
…or more simply stated, 1 out of every 13 Filipino Adults living in the Philippines ages 20-79 has this disease.
Of the above numbers the breakdown is:
Filipino Men Ages 20-79 -: 1,185,757
Filipino Women Ages 20-79 : 3,135,702
Filipinos that live in an urban setting such as a city or large town the number is: 2,480,962
Filipinos that live in Rural settings, such as provincial areas or villages the number is: 1,840,497
The estimated number of Filipinos living with UNDIAGNOSED Diabetes is: 2,539,290
Now that is folks with a standard medical definition of Diabetes.
For those Filipinos with Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) or Prediabetes the number is: 6,555,013 (6.6 Million)
That equates to a rate of: 12.46 Percent of the Adult Population ages 20-79 living with IGT or Prediabetes.
Impaired Glucose Tolerance is broadly defined as anyone with high blood glucose levels, but not as high as those with diagnosed Diabetes. IGT is more commonly known as Prediabetes, and shares many of the same risk factors and symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes. We will cover IGT and Prediabetes in future articles.
Though Asians generally have lower instances of diagnosed diabetes than some other ethic groups, diabetes rates are much higher, among Pacific Islanders, South Asians and Filipinos according to a study by the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research and the University of California, San Francisco.
It is also estimated that in the Philippines, diabetes in all its forms is under reported and undertreated due to a variety of factors.
Some of these factors include but are not limited to:
Economic standing. (Ability to visit or consult with a doctor on a regular basis)
Cultural issues. (Having any type of infirmity is cause for secrecy and denial in many homes and workplaces as one example.) Cultural issues are varied, but in general are different than beliefs and superstitions
Folk Medicine beliefs. Folk medicine such as Albularyo, Manhilothilot, mangluluop etc presents barriers to proper and successful treatment and management of diagnosed diabetes in many instances.
Education. Diabetes symptoms and treatment is not well taught in many countries, and the Philippines is no exception.
With under reporting and under treatment comes a whole host of issues that we will focus on from time to time that expand on the above mentioned items
However, in order to have a successful treatment path we will stick to commonly accepted scientific facts and real situations to help you or your loved ones deal with and live successfully with diabetes.
The statistics presented here do little to help you manage the problem, however it is important to realize the significance of this global problem and how it relates to the Filipino with Diabetes.
Data Statistics provide by the International Diabetes Foundation IDF Diabetes Atlas 5th edition