Improvement of lives of 32 million Europeans living with diabetes a joint responsibility, Commissioner Kyriakides says

Diabetes has a significant impact on the daily life of many people, since 32 million Europeans live with diabetes, the Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakides said on the occasion of World Diabetes Day on November 14th. Kyriakides added that member states should continue working with the EU in this direction.

“Diabetes can affect everyone, irrespective of background, age, and gender. Today, one in ten adults, or more than 32 million people, have diabetes in the EU. This is twice as many as a decade ago,” she noted.

“Diabetes takes a heavy toll on our societies and our healthcare systems. It increases the risk of developing potentially dangerous cardiovascular diseases. We also know that it increases the risk of serious disease for persons suffering from COVID-19. And it puts a heavy strain on our health budgets, with diabetes accounting for an estimated 9% of EU health expenditure in 2019,” the Commissioner explained.

“As a result, we can and must do more to tackle diabetes. The burden of type 2 diabetes can for example be reduced by interventions that support a healthier lifestyle, such as a healthy diet, physical activity and not smoking,” she noted.

Kyriakides underlined that, “as with our work on cancer, when it comes to non-communicable diseases, prevention is always better than the cure”, which I why the Commission “is already working on actions to better prevent, detect and treat non-communicable diseases, including diabetes, in a more comprehensive way”.

To achieve this, the Commissioner continued, the EU has already launched actions worth 156 million euro in its 2022 EU4Helath programme, under the ‘Healthier Together – EU Non-communicable diseases initiative’, with Member States having expressed interest in improving early detection of diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases through screening, for example.

“Children and young people are specifically targeted in initiatives focusing on health promotion and disease prevention,” she stressed.

The Commissioner also referred to the allocation of 75 million euro under the headline of joint action on health determinants to address risk factors related to diabetes and other non-communicable diseases to better understand them and support actions to mitigate them.

Furthermore, she continued, Member States’ joint action on diabetes and cardiovascular diseases has €53 million, still available for application until January 2023, to take further actions at national level to tackle diabetes.

“We are also working with Member States and stakeholders to find the best way to share best practices on health promotion and non-communicable disease prevention, including on physical activity, nutrition, and other risk factors such as tobacco consumption. I invite everyone to use EU tools, such as the Best Practice Portal to upload best practices, and the EU Health Policy Platform to disseminate information” the Commissioner added.

Source: Cyprus News Agency