Diabetes - A 'Sweet' Burden Turns Bitterly Heavy
BMI View: The high prevalence and poor management of diabetes in Mexico present sizable opportunities for multinational pharmaceutical companies. Apart from urging Mexicans to change their lifestyles, local authorities have allocated significant resources to address this issue. However, COFEPRIS' efficient response to the high disease burden may introduce unexpected competition for companies already established in the market.
Diabetes has long been Mexico's number-one health problem, as a result of increasingly unhealthy lifestyles and rising obesity levels. A study released recently by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization has put this issue in the spotlight again. The report stated that Mexico has overtaken the US and become the most obese country in the Americas. Despite some smaller nations with high obesity rates, such as the Micronesian island of Nauru, where 95% of the population is overweight, Mexico is one of the fattest countries in the world with 33% obesity rate. Prominent waistlines, which may have been enviable proof of prosperity, have become a serious health risk in Mexico. According to estimation from International Diabetes Federation (IDF), over 10mn Mexicans or 9% of population suffer from diabetes. Mexico had the sixth most cases of diabetes in the world and its diabetes prevalence ranked the top in 2012.
According to BMI's Burden of Disease Database (BoDD), disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost to diabetes ranks the highest among communicable and non-communicable diseases in the country, Mexico's DALYS lost to diabetes totalled over 30% of the total diabetes DALYs in Latin America. In addition, DALYS lost to the disease among Mexicans between 30 and 60 years old increased by over 40%, indicating a poor disease control in Mexico. Diabetes is the country's most common cause of mortality in adults, and the number one cause of hospital discharge in the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS).
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