Today, nearly two thirds of the 382 million people with diabetes live in cities. If this trend continues, by 2035 half a billion people will have diabetes – nearly all of them in cities. The Cities Changing Diabetes programme was launched in March 2014 to fight urban diabetes on a global scale and the aim is to map its extent, share solutions and tackle the growing challenge of diabetes in the world’s great cities. The programme brings together businesses, city leaders and planners, healthcare professionals, academics, and community leaders to find sustainable solutions for healthier cities.
Together with Novo Nordisk and University College of London, Steno Diabetes Center is a global partner in the project.
“We’re happy to be part of this exciting project. At Steno we have years of experience in creating innovative and actionable approaches to tackling diabetes at the community level and in training healthcare professionals in cities across the world. We believe we can make a significant contribution to the fight against urban diabetes” says CEO at Steno Diabetes Center, Professor John Nolan.
Part of the Copenhagen Working Group
The CCD programme has three steps: map, share, and act. The first step has been to map the diabetes challenge in each of the involved cities and to get a better understanding of vulnerable groups that are at high risk of developing diabetes and, at a later stage, complications. The results from the mapping phase were recently shared at the Cities Changing Diabetes Summit in Copenhagen.
Steno is also part of the working group conducting research locally in Copenhagen and has, in collaboration with the University of Copenhagen, been a main driver behind two major research projects. One project quantified the diabetes challenge in Copenhagen using the so-called Rule of Halves model which looks at the prevalence of diabetes, the number of people at risk of developing diabetes, the number of people diagnosed, the proportion reaching treatment targets and the prevalence of complications. The other project investigated the health-related, social and physical contexts of people living in vulnerable neighbourhoods of Copenhagen.
“What we found in this first phase of the project is that even though Copenhageners have fewer challenges with diabetes compared to the other cities in the programme, one in four are still not diagnosed and 40-60% do not reach their treatment targets”, says John Nolan.
“In the other project where we looked at vulnerable groups one of our findings showed that even though public health activities are available, they are often not used”.
Copenhagen, Houston, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Mexico City are partner cities in the programme as well as Vancouver and Johannesburg which have recently joined. The Copenhagen Group also counts the Municipality of Copenhagen, the Danish Diabetes Association and Novo Nordisk A/S.
Read more about the programme on Cities Changing Diabetes and on the Guardian’s website