ISLAMABAD: Worldwide, diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women, causing 2.1 million deaths each year, said Shifa International Hospital (SIH) Consultant Gynaecologist Dr Shahnaz Nawaz on Tuesday.She was addressing a seminar organized by SIH to mark World Diabetes Day. Doctors, SIH officials, students, patients and people from all walks of life attended the seminar. Free consultancy, blood sugar screening, informative booklets and prizes were given to the participants. The theme of the day was “Women and diabetes – our right to a healthy future”.This year, there has been a focus on promoting the importance of affordable and equitable access for all women at risk of or living with diabetes to essential diabetes medicines and technologies, self-management education and information they require to achieve optimal diabetes outcomes and strengthen their capacity to prevent type 2 diabetes.Dr Shahnaz said that there were currently over 199 million women living with diabetes and the total was projected to increase to 313 million by 2040. Gender roles and power dynamics influence vulnerability to diabetes, affect access to health services and health seeking behaviour for women; and amplify the impact of diabetes on women, she said.She said that two out of every five women with diabetes were of reproductive age, accounting for over 60 million women worldwide. Women with diabetes have more difficulty conceiving and may have poor pregnancy outcomes. Without pre-conception planning, type 1 and type 2 diabetes can result in a significantly higher risk of maternal and child mortality and morbidity, she said.She said that 1 in 7 births was affected by gestational diabetes (GDM), a severe and neglected threat to maternal and child health. A significant number of women with GDM also go on to develop type 2 diabetes resulting in further healthcare complications and costs, she added.SIH Consultant Endocrinologist Dr Sheraz Khan said that, “In Pakistan, 7 million people have diabetes and in one year, 84 thousand patients die of diabetes.” SIH Dr Osama Ishtiaq said that 1 in 2 people with diabetes remain undiagnosed, which makes them particularly susceptible to the complications of the condition, that could cause substantial disability and premature death. “More than 640 million people could be living with diabetes by 2040,” he said. “Delayed diagnosis means that many people with type 2 diabetes will suffer from at least one complication by the time they are diagnosed with diabetes,” he remarked.Published in Daily Times, November 15th 2017.