On the 14th of November every year, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) celebrates World Diabetes Day (WDD). WDD is a worldwide campaign established in 1991 by the IDF and the World Health Organization. The campaign was developed to engage the IDF and its members to raise awareness about the growing economic and healthcare burden that diabetes represents. This year’s WDD campaign focused on establishing and strengthening public health education and to encourage lifestyle changes to prevent Type-2 diabetes. In 2015, the IDF distributed its “Framework for Action on Sugar”. This initiative targeted policies to reduce the consumption of sugar and aid in the production and availability of healthier foods. Excess sugar consumption is one of the most important contributors to the risk of developing Type-2 diabetes.
In conjunction with the WDD and the upcoming World Diabetes Congress in Vancouver on December 1st, the IDF released new epidemiological estimates for the prevalence and growth of diabetes worldwide. In 2015, it is estimated that 415 million people worldwide have one type of diabetes and this number is expected to increase to 642 million people worldwide by 2040 (IDF Diabetes Atlas 2015). Based on these staggering numbers, an estimated one in 11 adults have diabetes worldwide (IDF Diabetes Atlas 2015). Regional estimates suggest that the Western Pacific region has the highest number of individuals with diabetes, 153 million, however North America has the highest prevalence per capita with one in 8 adults suffering from the disease (IDF Diabetes Atlas 2015). On a per country basis, China has the largest diabetic population and the second highest diabetes-related health care expenditure (IDF Diabetes Atlas 2015).
One of the most severe consequences of diabetes is that it is a major risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Diabetes and its associated complications, such as CVD, are leading causes of death in most countries. In some modernized and developed countries, CVD is responsible for 50% of deaths due to diabetes (IDF Diabetes Atlas 2015). According to the IDF, an estimated 5 million adults died from diabetes in 2015, which is equivalent to an astonishing one death every six seconds. From 2011 through 2013, the estimates of mortality due to diabetes increased by 11% which is in contrast to all other non-communicable diseases worldwide which illustrated declining mortality rates (IDF Atlas 2015). The mortality of diabetes reflects a larger burden compared to other high profile public health concerns such HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
In the recently commenced phase 3 BETonMACE clinical trial, Resverlogix is exploring the potential benefit of apabetalone (RVX-208) on the reduction of major adverse cardiac events (MACE) in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. This study and ongoing laboratory research will aid in establishing the emerging role of BET inhibition in high-risk vascular disease and especially in those with diabetes.