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ACI Center for Diabetes Research


Diabetes is a serious and costly disease which is becoming increasingly common, especially in developing countries and disadvantaged minorities. It is a leading cause of death by disease. It can lead to heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, amputation and blindness.
(Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease caused by inherited and/or acquired deficiency in production of insulin by the pancreas, or by the ineffectiveness of the insulin produced. Such a deficiency results in increased concentrations of glucose in the blood, which in turn damage many of the body's systems, in particular the blood vessels and nerves.) The scale of the problem that diabetes poses to world health is still widely under recognized. At least 177 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes; this figure is likely to more than double by 2025. Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness and visual disability. - (Diabetes mellitus is associated with damage to the small blood vessels in the retina, resulting in loss of vision.) - Findings, consistent from study to study, make it possible to suggest that, after 15 years of diabetes, approximately 2% of people become blind, while about 10% develop severe visual handicap. Diabetes is among the leading causes of kidney failure, but its frequency varies between populations and is also related to the severity and duration of the disease. Heart disease accounts for approximately 50% of all deaths among people with diabetes in industrialized countries. Diabetes negates the protection from heart disease which pre-menopausal women without diabetes experience. Diabetic neuropathy - (Neuropathy can lead to sensory loss and damage to the limbs and is also a major cause of impotence in diabetic men) - is probably the most common complication of diabetes - up to 50% of people with diabetes are affected to some degree. Diabetic foot disease often leads to ulceration and subsequent limb amputation. It is one of the most costly complications of diabetes. Diabetes is the most common cause of non-traumatic amputation of the lower limb.