It’s World Diabetes Day!

Diabetes comorbidity with Sleep Apnoea ResMed UK

November 14th 2019

Today is World Diabetes Day. It’s an annual event held on the 14th of November that aims to spread the word about the importance of tackling diabetes and recognising it as a critical global health issue.

Why the 14th November? Well, it’s a significant date: the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting who, in 1922, co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best. World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. It has since grown to become a globally celebrated event and an official United Nations (UN) awareness day. It is now the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign.

November 2019 marks the second year of a two-year theme dedicated to “The Family and Diabetes”. Research conducted by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) revealed that many parents would struggle to spot the warning signs of diabetes in their own children.

According the NHS1 you, or a family member, should see your GP as soon as possible if you experience the main symptoms of diabetes which can include:

  • feeling very thirsty
  • peeing more frequently than usual, particularly at night
  • feeling very tired
  • weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
  • itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush
  • cuts or wounds that heal slowly
  • blurred vision

Diabetes and Sleep Apnoea

Diabetes and sleep apnoea are strongly associated with one another. Clinical research shows that as many as 48% of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have also been diagnosed with sleep apnoea.2 Even more striking, researchers believe that 86% of obese type 2 diabetic patients suffer from sleep apnoea.3 For more information see our article “Diabetes and Sleep Apnoea

Useful diabetes resources


  1. NHS Diabetes website
  2. Einhorn D, Stewart DA, Erman MK, Gordon N, Philis-Tsimikas A, Casal E. “Prevalence of sleep apnea in a population of adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus.” Endocr Pract. 2007 Jul-Aug;13(4):355-62.
  3. Foster GD, Sanders MH, Millman R, Zammit G, Borradaile KE, Newman AB, Wadden TA, Kelley D, Wing RR, Sunyer FX, Darcey V, Kuna ST; Sleep AHEAD Research Group. “Obstructive sleep apnea among obese patients with type 2 diabetes.” Diabetes Care. 2009 Jun;32(6):1017-9. doi: 10.2337/dc08-1776. Epub 2009 Mar 11.

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