Friday, November 14, 2014

World Diabetes Day: November 14 2014

Today, November 14th, is World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day is the primary global awareness campaign of the diabetes mellitus world and is held on November 14 of each year (1). It was introduced in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in response to the alarming rise of human diabetes around the world.

World Diabetes Day is a campaign that features a new theme chosen by the International Diabetes Federation each year to address issues facing the global diabetes community. This year's campaign theme is "Healthy Living and Diabetes"(1).

While the campaigns last the whole year, the day itself marks the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, first conceived the idea which led to the discovery of insulin in 1922 (2). You can also find out more about Frederick Banting in Wouter de Herder's review Heroes in Endocrinology: Nobel Prizes (3).

Charles H. Best and Frederick G. Banting (on right) with one of the diabetic dogs used in their studies of insulin

In the past few years, diabetes rates among our pets in the U.S. have increased roughly 33% among dogs and 16% among the nation's cat population, per a national analysis of pet health (4). This emphasizes the importance of this disorder in our cats and dogs as well as human patients with diabetes. To successfully manage diabetes in animals, one must understand the disease and monitor and provide daily treatments to the cat or dog with diabetes. Treatment involves a combination of weight loss (if obese), diet, and insulin injections generally twice daily.

  1. World Diabetes Day – Official website.
  2. Frederick Grant Banting (1891-1941), codiscoverer of insulin. Journal of the American Medical Association 1966;198:660-661. 
  3. de Herder WW. Heroes in endocrinology: Nobel Prizes. Endocr Connect. 2014;3:R94-R104. doi: 10.1530/EC-14-0070. 
  4. Washburn L. Human health risks on the rise in animals. The Record. April 20, 2011. 

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