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Sweden set for diabetes explosion: researchers

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Sweden set for diabetes explosion: researchers
16:39 CET+01:00
Swedish researchers fear that the number of people suffering from diabetes stands to double in the country over the coming years, with the condition creeping down the ages.

More than 700,000 Swedes currently suffer from diabetes, with over half unaware of the fact. In a country of just over 9 million people, the expected increase is thus of great concern to researchers.

"When you look at how the development has been so far, it is a continually growing trend. Calculations are based on that curve and that is of great concern," said Mona Landin-Olsson, professor and diabetes specialist at Skåne University Hospital in Lund.

Poorer lifestyle habits and an excess of fatty foods are thought to be the reasons behind the constant increase of type 2 diabetes among children, young people and adults.

Landin-Olsson argued that it is of particular concern that the incidence of the condition has crept down the ages, explaining that diabetes can lead to a slew of troublesome complications such as cardiovascular disease, kidney dysfunction and visual impairment.

Many of those suffering from a heart attack have or discover that they have diabetes when they seek care. Of all those suffering heart attacks, over 75 percent have diabetes or the first stages of the illness.

The number of cases of type 1 diabetes has doubled among children aged under 15-years-old over the past 20 years with around 800 children getting sick each year.

"We don't know what lies behind this. Intensive studies are ongoing," said Landin-Olsson.

Sunday November 14th has been designated World Diabetes Day.

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