In Sweden, 350,000 people suffer from diabetes, and the affliction is affecting younger and younger people, with the key range being between 30 and 60.
“It’s remarkable! The younger one is at the onset of this sickness, the greater the risk that they’ll get serious complications like heart infarction, stroke, kidney failure, and eye damage – which in the worst cases can lead to blindness,” said diabetes expert and nurse Britt-Marie Carlsson to Sveriges Television (SVT).
Many people are not diagnosed until after they have already had the illness for two years, which can lead to further health risks such as heart attacks.
“The tricky thing with this illness is that you can go around with Type 2 diabetes without any symptoms. Yet, you have an increased risk of heart and cardiovascular sicknesses,” said Carl Johan Östgren, professor at Linköping University, to SVT.
Östgren explains that when patients come in after a heart attack, it is often just the first symptom of the diabetes, and is even more often too late.
“We really want to discover Type 2 diabetes earlier, because the right treatment can dramatically minimalize the complications of the illness,” he told SVT.
As the numbers of sufferers has increased worldwide, the UN has even labelled the sickness as a global threat.