Novo Nordisk Launches 'Cities Changing Diabetes' to Fight Urban Diabetes

Novo Nordisk A/S

Novo Nordisk Launches 'Cities Changing Diabetes' to Fight Urban Diabetes


BAGSVAERD, Denmark, Mar. 28, /PRN=KYODO JBN/ --

Novo Nordisk today announces the launch of 'Cities Changing Diabetes', an

ambitious new partnership programme to fight the urban diabetes challenge. The

'Cities Changing Diabetes' programme will first be launched in Mexico City with

other cities in North America, Europe and Asia soon to follow.

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"The global diabetes epidemic is an emergency in slow motion," says Lars Rebien

Sorensen, chief executive officer, Novo Nordisk. "While there are many factors

fuelling the growth trajectory of diabetes, the most striking contributor is

urbanisation and the growth of cities. The 'Cities Changing Diabetes' programme

is our call to arms for people around the world to work together to tackle this

for the long-term."

The aim of the programme is to map the problem, share solutions and drive

concrete action to fight the diabetes challenge in the big cities around the

world. The programme will be developed in partnership with University College

London (UCL) and supported by Steno Diabetes Center, Denmark, a world-leading

institution in diabetes care and prevention, as well as a range of local

partners including healthcare professionals, city authorities, urban planners,

businesses, academics and community leaders, amongst others.

During 2014, the partners will work together to better understand the diabetes

challenge in cities in order to identify the actions needed to tackle it.

Following the initial discovery phase, Novo Nordisk and its partners, with the

help of policymakers, health authorities, the private sector and the volunteer

sector, will announce action plans for each of the cities that will be part of

the programme.

Two out of three with diabetes live in cities

The rise of diabetes is one of the world's most serious health challenges with

statistics getting worse every year. By 2030, it is estimated that more than

half a billion people will suffer from diabetes. Today, nearly two thirds of

everyone with diabetes live in cities, and those who move to cities are

significantly more likely to develop diabetes than those who remain in rural


For the first time in human history, more people live in cities than rural

areas. It's 52% today - and by 2050, that figure will have risen to 70% of the

global population.[2] From rising wealth and increasing consumption, to more

sedentary lifestyles and inequality of access to healthcare, urban living

presents a major challenge to health and has become one of the key drivers

behind the acceleration of global diabetes.

Mexico City first to join

Mexico City will be the first global city to join the 'Cities Changing

Diabetes' programme. With a population of 20 million, Mexico City is today one

of the largest metropolitan areas in the western world.

The Minister of Health of Mexico City, Dr Armando Ahued Ortega, states that

early detection of diabetes and care hereof are one of his administration's

public health priorities. "We have implemented large-scale initiatives to fight

overweight, obesity and diabetes and we are starting to see the results.

However, diabetes continues to constitute a heavy burden for the city's health

services. I look forward to seeing the results from the research phase

initiated today, as they will provide a solid foundation for developing an

integrated response to tackle this public health emergency. I am very proud of

Mexico City taking the global lead to fight urban diabetes."

The launch event for the 'Cities Changing Diabetes' programme will take place

today in Mexico City at Museo Interactivo de Economia (MIDE), a previous

hospital for terminally-ill people, at 10.00 am CST.

About Novo Nordisk

Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with 90

years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. The company also has

leading positions within haemophilia care, growth hormone therapy and

hormone-replacement therapy. Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs

approximately 38,000 employees in 75 countries, and markets its products in

more than 180 countries. For more information, visit

About UCL (University College London)

Founded in 1826, UCL was the first English university established after Oxford

and Cambridge, the first to admit students regardless of race, class, religion

or gender, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture

and medicine. UCL is among the world's top universities, as reflected by

performance in a range of international rankings and tables. UCL currently has

27,000 students from almost 140 countries, and around 11,000 employees. Annual

turnover is nearly GBP1 billion.

For more information, visit

About Steno Diabetes Center

Steno Diabetes Center is a world leading institution within diabetes care and

prevention. Steno is owned by Novo Nordisk A/S and is a 'not for profit'

organisation working in partnership with the Danish healthcare system. Steno

treats around 5600 people with diabetes every year. For more information, visit


Katrine Sperling



1. IDF Diabetes Atlas. International Diabetes Federation 2013. 6th edition.

2. World Urbanization Prospects, the 2011 Revision. United Nations, Department

of Economic and Social Affairs

Source: Novo Nordisk A/S