Public Health

Diabetes kills four times more than AIDS victims and overcomes traffic

In 2010, disease caused 54,000 deaths in the country against 12 000 deaths and 42 000 HIV caused by traffic

Foto: international diabetes federation
Poster of World Diabetes Day in Brazil.
Poster of World Diabetes Day in Brazil.

Data from the Ministry of Health reveal that diabetes kills four times more than AIDS and exceeds the number of victims of traffic accidents. In 2010, 54,000 Brazilians died from the disease, while 12,000 deaths were caused by the HIV virus and 42 000 deaths were recorded by traffic accidents across the country. That number would be even higher if considered that diabetes acts as a risk factor for many other diseases - such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, for example. The survey was released on the eve of World Diabetes Day, remembered on Wednesday (14).

Also according to the folder, diabetes was, in 2010, with other 68 500 deaths - which amounts to 123 000 people killed directly or indirectly.

Diabetes is a contemporary problem which expresses itself in different ways. We must work to provide healthier foods and public spaces for physical activity. It is extremely important to strengthen prevention and improving the quality of education, and the expansion of diagnosis and the supply of medicines. This is the time to act to curb the spread of diabetes and not become a nation of diabetics, says Health Minister Alexandre Padilha.

To reduce the occurrence of these deaths, the government launched in 2011, the Action Plan for Coping with Chronic Noncommunicable Diseases, which includes measures to reduce cases and deaths caused by diabetes. The plan foresees the fall of 2% per year from premature deaths due to chronic diseases by improving indicators related to alcohol, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle and obesity, risk factors for diabetes.

The plan also provides for the implementation of the program of Academy Health, poles physical activity open to the community. In these places, is made career guidance, as well as activities for food security and nutrition and food education. Of the 4 000 poles planned for construction by 2014, more than 2000 have been enabled.

On the occasion, Minister Alexandre Padilha has announced the launch of the portal "Autocuidado do Diabetes", a tool developed by the Ministry of Health and that explains what the disease is, clarifies common questions and offers tips and information to enhance the quality of life of those live with this evil.