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The Causes of Diabetes

Diabetes nowadays, and especially in the developed world, affects a large number of people. The fact that people live longer because of all the other advances in medical science and care accounts for a considerable increase in diabetes among other diseases as does the fact that young children, because of insulin, live to survive into their reproductive years and beyond. Obesity is also associated with diabetes and since being overweight affects nearly one in five of the population of the developed world, it is not surprisng that there are many more diabetics diagnosed every year.

At least two per cent of the world population suffers from diabetes and are known to be on treatment; for example, in Britain there are now more than half a million diabetics, and three million in the United States. Just as many have been shown, in population tests on blood and urine samples, to be prone to the disorder; some authorities say that these people will develop the disorder in their later years.

Half of all cases occur (or are first diagnosed) in the age group of 50 to 60; only five per cent of diabetics are under ten years of age, and only three per cent of cases are first diagnosed in the over-80s. There is no marked difference in the incidence of diabetes in different races though Jews as an ethnic group have a higher rate in the United States, but not in Israel and there is only a small difference between the sexes (as the statistics in both northern Europe and the United States show) in that, in the younger age group, more boys develop it early than young girls, while in the mature group, more women develop it than men.

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