Women and Diabetes

Women and Diabetes
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Diabetes is a chronic disease that arises when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, leading to hyperglycemia. This is associated with long-term damage to the body and failure of various organs and tissues.1


Diabetes requires careful control and monitoring. Uncontrolled diabetes can damage tissues in a variety of organs, that may lead to cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, nerve damage, or vision loss.2 Diabetes in women is unique in that it can impact them as well as their offspring.

The burden of diabetes on women is unique because the disease can affect both mothers and their unborn children. Uncontrolled or undiagnosed diabetes during pregnancy can lead to life-threatening complications, including miscarriage and birth defects. Additionally, pregnancy can induce gestational diabetes, which puts women at risk for type 2 diabetes later in life.3


  • The number of women with diabetes was estimated at 181 million in 2012. By 2030, this number is expected to rise to more than 275 million. It is estimated that 50% of people with diabetes remain undiagnosed.1
  • Diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women globally, resulting in 2.1 million deaths per year.1
  • Without proper diagnosis and healthcare, women are at twice the risk of premature death leading from the common complications of diabetes—cardiovascular disease, stroke, and kidney failure.4

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