Health - Diabetes - About The Sector

Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when the body’s ability to regulate excessive glucose levels in the blood is reduced. Over 463 million people live with the condition worldwide. It caused 4.2 million deaths in 2019 and it is thought that by 2045, up to 700 million adults will have the condition. Diabetes prevalence in 2019 was 6.7% in all OECD countries. It was highest in Mexico, Turkey, the United States and Germany, with over 10% of adults living with diabetes. Prevalence rates have stabilised in many OECD countries, particularly in Western Europe, but increased in Turkey. Such upward trends are partially due to rising rates of physical inactivity and obesity. Diabetes is also a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, blindness and lower limb amputation.1  

The number of adults diagnosed with diabetes in the EU has been increasing, from an estimated 16.8 million in 2000 to around 32.3 million in 2019. An additional 24.2 million people in Europe were estimated to have undiagnosed diabetes in 2019. Diabetes prevalence among adults (diagnosed and age-standardised) was 6.2% on average in EU countries in 2019, similar to all OECD countries. The rates varied from 9% or more in Portugal, Cyprus and Germany, to less than 4% in Ireland and Lithuania.2 

In recent years, nanotechnology has played an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes. Implantable nano sensors are being developed for nonstop glucose monitoring, new nanoparticle-based imaging solutions that evaluate subtle changes in beta cell mass can encourage early diagnosis, and nanotechnology-based insulin delivery strategies are being investigated as novel treatments.3 Also, the emergence of nanotechnology has contributed towards diabetic regenerative medicine. Nano-stent provides an appropriate direction for the regeneration of islet beta cells, nerve tissue, retinal tissue, and wound tissue cells. Conductive nanomaterials promote the growth of various tissues. In addition, many nanoparticles boost wound healing and present other advantages that have solved many potential problems in the practical application of regenerative medicine.4 



OECD (2021). Health at a glance: OECD indicators. Available at: https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/social-issues-migration-health/health-at-a-glance-2021_ae3016b9-en;jsessionid=fH1JnWWBHvubYdLph8RvdvxUIKuDcxvPDpE92GoT.ip-10-240-5-166

OECD & European Union (2020). Health at a glance: Europe 2020: State of health in the EU cycle. Available at: https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/social-issues-migration-health/health-at-a-glance-europe-2020_82129230-en  

Naser, M., Nasr, M. M., & Shehata, L. H. (2021). Nanotechnology in diagnosis and treatment of diabetes mellitus. Int. J. Prog. Sci. Tech, 24, 586-596.

Li, D., Liu, Y., & Wu, N. (2022). Application progress of nanotechnology in regenerative medicine of diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 109966.