The North America and Caribbean (NAC) Region faces a high burden of diabetes. In 2013, the number of children (aged 0-14 years) with type 1 diabetes was 108,600, with 16.7 new cases diagnosed per 100,000 children. Furthermore, there were 36,755,500 individuals with diabetes (mostly type 2 diabetes) in adults (20-79 years), and an additional 44,277,700 individuals had impaired glucose tolerance. The age-adjusted prevalence of diabetes in adults was 9.6%; the second highest among the seven Regions of the International Diabetes Federation. This estimate is expected to grow to 9.9% by 2035. There was some heterogeneity in the estimates within the Region with the age-adjusted prevalence for the USA estimated at 9.2%, 7.9% for Canada, 12.6% for Mexico, and 9.6% for the Caribbean islands. Mortality due to diabetes in the NAC Region is not limited to older age groups, with 37.6% of deaths occurring in people under the age of 60. The economic impact was also enormous, with healthcare expenditure due to diabetes estimated at 263.2 billion USD for 2013 - the highest of all IDF Regions. Diabetes threatens the public health and economies of countries in the NAC Region, and efforts in prevention and management must be intensified in order to surmount this growing problem.
Keywords: Caribbean; Diabetes; Epidemiology; Health system; North America; Risk factors.
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