This Saturday, November 14 is World Diabetes Day. As the name suggests, it is a day dedicated to global awareness of diabetes. The annual observance of this special was started by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). November 14 was chosen to be the day because it is the birthday of Frederick Banting who, together with Charles Best, discovered insulin in 1922, a life-saving treatment for diabetes patients.
The theme of World Diabetes Day from 2009 to 2013 is Diabetes Education and Prevention. This year’s slogan is “understand diabetes and take control.”
The Blue Circle: The diabetes symbol
The World Diabetes Day logo is the blue circle, a symbol well-known globally to represent diabetes adopted since 2007. The logo was developed as part of the Unite for Diabetes awareness campaign. Here’s what the logo means:
“…the circle symbolizes life and health. The color blue reflects the sky that unites all nations. The blue circle signifies the unity of the global diabetes community in response to the diabetes pandemic.”
Global statistics on diabetes
- 246 million: the number of people worldwide currently affected by diabetes
- 380 million: the number of people worldwide expected to have by diabetes and by 2025.
- 7 million: the number of new people developing diabetes each year.
- 3.8 million: number of deaths each year linked directly to diabetes-related causes including cardiovascular disease made worse by diabetes-related lipid disorders and hypertension.
- 26.8 million: number of Americans with diabetes
- 10: every 10 seconds. 2 people develop diabetes; a person dies from diabetes-related causes.
- 12 to 20%: proportion of adult population affected by diabetes in many countries in Asia, the Middle East, Oceania and the Caribbean.
- 7 out of 10: proportion of countries in the developing world with the highest number of people living with diabetes
- 80%: proportion of all diabetes cases will be in low and middle-income countries.
- 40 to 59: age rangeof 50% of all people with diabetes
- 45 to 64: age range of diabetes patients in low and middle income countries
- 41 million: The number of people in India with diabetes, amounting to 6% of the adult population, the % highest in the world.
- 4.3%: proportion of the Chinese population with diabetes; this number is expected to exceed 50 million within the next 20 years.
- 3% per year: the rate of increase of Type 1 diabetes, which predominately affects the young.
- 70,000: the number of children aged 14 and below who develop Type 1 diabetes each year.
- 8 years: youngest age among children who develop Type 2 diabetes; reports reveal the existence of this type of diabetes in child populations previously thought not to be at risk.
- 13.9 per 100,000: prevalence of Type 2 diabetes amongst junior high school children in Japan from 1991 to 1995, up from 7.3 per 100,000 in 1976 to 80; Type 2 diabetes now outnumbers Type 1 diabetes in that country.
- 5%: proportion of all deaths globally each year caused by diabetes.
- 50%: increase in diabetes expected in the next 10 years is nothing is done now.
Events on World Diabetes Day
About 600 major landmarks and monuments the world over will be lighted blue to observe World Diabetes Day on November 14. Some of these landmarks are:
- London Eye (London, UK)
- Empire State Building (new York, USA)
- Burj al Arab (Dubai, UAE)
- Christ the Redeemer (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
- Table Mountain (Cape Town, South Africa)
- Tokyo Tower (Tokyo, Japan)
- Obelisque (Paris, France)
In the US, more than 40 American cities and landmarks will “go blue” this coming Saturday, including:
- the Alamo,
- the California State Capitol
- the Ferry Building in San Francisco
- the Morrison Bridge in Portland, OR
- the Philadelphia Free Library
- the Wright Brothers’ Flyer in Dayton, OH
- the Chase Tower in Austin, TX, and
- the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in Indianapolis, IN
For a complete list of participating monuments and landmarks, check out
Check out two short video clips launched by the International Diabetes Federation for World Diabetes Day.
The videos “feature people from all ethnic backgrounds and walks of life being quizzed about their knowledge of diabetes and its international symbol.”
The clips, titled “Understand Diabetes, Get Involved” and “Diabetes Blue Circle – Wear & Share”, can be viewed on the World Diabetes Day YouTube channel at: