The disease burden related to diabetes is high and rising in every country, fuelled by the global rise in the prevalence of obesity and unhealthy lifestyles. The latest estimates show a global prevalence of 382 million people with diabetes in 2013, expected to rise to 592 million by 2035. The aetiological classification of diabetes has now been widely accepted. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are the two main types, with type 2 diabetes accounting for the majority (>85%) of total diabetes prevalence. Both forms of diabetes can lead to multisystem complications of microvascular endpoints, including retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy, and macrovascular endpoints including ischaemic heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. The premature morbidity, mortality, reduced life expectancy and financial and other costs of diabetes make it an important public health condition.
Keywords: Aetiology; diagnosis; epidemiology; prevention; screening; type 1 diabetes; type 2 diabetes.