Diabetes is an increasing global health problem worldwide. Diabetes and its complications have become a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Korea. The prevalence of diabetes in Korea has increased six- to seven-fold from 1.5% to 9.9% in the past 40 years. The prevalence of impaired fasting glucose also increased to about 20% in 2009. The International Diabetes Federation has estimated that the prevalence of diabetes will rise to 11.4% in 2030. Possible risk factors for diabetes in Korea are age, male gender, obesity, prediabetes, gestational diabetes, smoking, decreased physical activity, and short sleep duration. With increasing obesity, especially in childhood, and improved longevity, the prevalence of diabetes is expected to dramatically increase more than previously estimated. Therefore, public efforts to introduce healthy lifestyle changes and diabetic prevention programs are necessary to reduce the global epidemic of diabetes.
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