World Diabetes Day is marked every year on November 14. In 2022, the campaign will focus on access to diabetes education and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is “calling on policymakers to increase access to diabetes education to help improve the lives of the more than half a billion people living with diabetes worldwide”.
Education to protect tomorrow
IDF has launched a global survey for healthcare professionals and people living with diabetes to determine their access to diabetes education. By responding to this 10-minute survey, dentists and other healthcare professionals will inform the World Diabetes Day 2022 campaign activities and highlight opportunities to address diabetes knowledge gaps among the health workforce.
Take the survey
The global burden of diabetes is spiralling out of control
Although diabetes is among the top 10 causes of death globally, its overall prevalence is growing at an alarming rate and has already surpassed 2030 forecasts made over a decade ago. According to the 10th edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas published in 2021, 537 million adults aged 20–79 years (1 in 10) are living with diabetes. Without adequate action to address this public health challenge, the global burden could rise to 643 million and 783 million by 2030 and 2045, respectively.
Also, an estimated 240 million people are living with undiagnosed diabetes worldwide. This means almost one-in-two adults with diabetes are unaware of the condition and remain at risk of severe complications, including life-threatening illnesses. To effectively respond to the global burden of diabetes, the health workforce must collaborate to provide a wide range of general information about diabetes prevention, detection, and control.
The role of dentists in diabetes prevention and early detection
The association between diabetes and periodontal (gum) disease is well established. People with diabetes have an increased risk of periodontal disease, and treatment of periodontal disease improves blood glucose levels. In addition, there is strong evidence that good periodontal health in people living with diabetes, reduces the likelihood of hospitalization and lowers the cost of treating diabetes. Dental teams can provide screening for diabetes identifying patients at risk, contribute to the optimal management of diabetes, and make referrals when relevant.
This is just one example of the role that oral healthcare can play in the optimal management of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), and improve quality of life.
Given most oral diseases and the major NCDs share the same social determinants and some common modifiable risk factors: poor diet, tobacco and alcohol use, the dental profession has an important disease prevention and health surveillance role, which can be supported by effective strategies that promote [diabetes] education across professions and champion interprofessional collaboration.
Read WHY and HOW to integrate oral health into the NCD and UHC responses