World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day Quick Facts - EU

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2024 Date14 November 2024
2025 Date14 November 2025

World Diabetes Day

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World Diabetes Day History

World Diabetes Day (WDD) is an annual global observance aimed at raising awareness about the impact of diabetes on individuals and their families, as well as promoting the importance of prevention, early diagnosis, and appropriate management of the condition. Diabetes is a chronic disease characterised by high blood glucose levels, which can lead to various complications if left untreated. WDD serves as an opportunity for various stakeholders, including healthcare professionals, policy-makers, and the general public, to come together and work towards improving the lives of people living with diabetes, while also striving to reduce the incidence of new cases.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) first established World Diabetes Day in 1991, in response to the rapid rise of diabetes cases worldwide. For the European Union, diabetes is a major public health concern, with approximately 60 million people affected by either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, representing around 10.3% of the adult population. It is estimated that diabetes is responsible for approximately 380,000 deaths yearly in the region and generates an annual healthcare expenditure of 166 billion Euros.

To observe World Diabetes Day in the European Union, various campaigns, events, and activities take place across the region. These may include educational workshops, blood glucose screening programmes, and awareness-raising initiatives led by healthcare organisations, patient associations, and research institutions. These events aim to empower individuals to better manage their diabetes and provide relevant information for those at risk of developing the condition. World Diabetes Day takes place annually on November 14th, which is of particular significance as it marks the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who, alongside Charles Best, made the groundbreaking discovery of insulin in 1921.

World Diabetes Day facts

  • The theme for World Diabetes Day in 2023 was Access to diabetes care.
  • According to, as of June 2023, more than half a billion people live with diabetes worldwide.
  • More than 80% of deaths related to diabetes occur in low and middle income countries.
  • The European Union has some of the highest rates of obesity in the world, which is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Unhealthy diets and lack of physical activity are also contributing factors to the increasing prevalence of diabetes.
  • The European Union has one of the highest prevalence rates of type 1 diabetes in the world, particularly among children. The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is still unknown, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Top things to do in the EU for World Diabetes Day

  • Visit your doctor if you are overweight, obese, do not regularly exercise and do not eat a balanced diet. These are all factors that can cause diabetes.
  • Learn about ways to control and lower the risk of developing diabetes. The American Diabetes Association provides some great ways to reduce your risk which include:
    1) Eat a healthy balanced diet
    2) Exercise regularly
    3) Ensure that you are not overweight or obese
    4) Remove unnecessary processed foods with high sugar content from your diet
    5) Get checked for high blood pressure or abnormal cholesterol levels
  • Donate to diabetes research foundations or charities that work towards providing resources and support to those with diabetes. Many organizations launch fundraising campaigns around World Diabetes Day which can be a great way to contribute to the cause.
  • Use this day as an opportunity to advocate for better diabetes care in your local community and at the national level. This can involve joining online campaigns or contacting policymakers to emphasize the importance of diabetes prevention, treatment, and support programs.

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