Diabetes mellitus (DM) is becoming increasingly epidemic globally. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the prevalence of DM varies between 8 and 10 % in all regions of the globe. Millions of new cases are diagnosed every year, and a substantial percentage of people with DM are undiagnosed either because they are not screened for the condition or because of inadequate access to healthcare.
The epidemics of obesity, increased mechanization and reduced physical activity, cigarette smoking, and the fact that people are living longer have all contributed to the rise in Type 2 DM incidence. The incidence and prevalence of Type 1 DM is also increasing, perhaps also related to changes in the environment.
Obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and cigarette smoking potentiate insulin resistance, which also promote atherosclerosis and the vascular complications of DM, as well as of Type 2 DM itself. Longer lifespan is associated with increased weight, lower levels of physical activity, and progressive loss of pancreatic islet cell mass.