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Diabetes – the Essential Facts

University of Copenhagen via Coursera


Across the world more than 420 million people are living with diabetes. Two thirds of these have not yet been diagnosed. When discovered late or managed incorrectly, diabetes can damage your heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves, leading to disability and premature death. In fact, more people are dying of diabetes related diseases than of diseases as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

This course will provide you with an introduction to the most recent research in the field of prevention and treatment of diabetes as well as a broader understanding of the situation in different communities, rich and poor, across the world, where diabetes threatens public health.

What kind of disease is diabetes, who has it, and who is at risk of getting it? And what are the roles of medicine, exercise and nutrition when trying to prevent, delay or treat diabetes?

During the course you will meet researchers and experts from Imperial College London, Emory University in Atlanta, Steno Diabetes Center in Copenhagen as well as the School of Global Health and the Center for Basic Metabolic Research at the University of Copenhagen.

They work with very different aspects of diabetes, from microbiology to global public health, but what ties them together is the belief that it is a global responsibility to combat diabetes, and this fight can only be won through new knowledge and global collaboration.

We hope you will join us in the course and equip yourself to take part in the ongoing discussions of this truly global and individual health challenge.

This course is also part of the EIT Health programme.


  • Fundamentals of Diabetes
    • In this first module you will be introduced to the fundamentals about diabetes. This includes both the biomedical and public health aspects, such as a description of the different types of diabetes, a profile of the most at risk people and populations as well as an introduction to the epidemiological trends that have changed dramatically over the last decades.
  • Prevention and Treatment
    • In this second module you will be introduced to the important roles of nutrition and exercise when preventing and treating diabetes. We will have a more detailed look at the role of obesity and overweight and also focus on the challenges of fighting diabetes in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Diabetes in the Future
    • In this final module we will discuss some of the new research and treatment methods for diabetes, such as surgery or microships, and then we will ask the researchers where they see the field going in the future. The last lesson will be followed by a short peer-review assignment, where you have to submit a short text, and afterwards review the submissions of your peers.

Taught by

Nicolai Jacob Wewer Albrechtsen, Signe Sørensen Torekov and Jens Juul Holst


5.0 rating, based on 2 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at Coursera based on 2115 ratings

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  • This is an extremely useful course for both the lay and the practitioner to understand state-of-the-art thinking on diabetes mellitus.
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    Riana Muhammad

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