Diabetes is a worldwide and ever-growing problem. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of people with diabetes has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. This number is likely to more than double by 2030 and diabetes deaths will increase by more than 50 % in the next 10 years without urgent action.

Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation. In 2015, an estimated 1.6 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes. Another 2.2 million deaths were attributable to high blood glucose in 2012.

In 2016 almost 3.6 million people in the UK had been diagnosed with diabetes but 4.5 million people are estimated living with diabetes; almost a million people have it but are unaware of the condition. Diabetes is the fastest-growing health threat facing the UK.

In Finland over 500 000 people suffer from diabetes and the number of diabetics may double in the next 10-15 years. Diabetes in general is diagnosed too late, for when diagnosing diabetes, over half of the patients have developed another cardiovascular disease as well.