150,000 diabetics in Bahrain
Manama, November 14, 2007
Bahrain has nearly 150,000 diabetics seeking treatment at the country's hospitals and clinics, according to an expert.
Since this figure is increasing all the time, urgent steps should be taken to prevent the scourge from spreading and claiming more victims, Joslin Diabetes Centre consultant endocrinologist Dr Wiam Hussein was quoted as saying by Gulf Daily News.
"Diabetes is a global health epidemic with overwhelming social and economic impact," said Dr Hussein. "The situation in Bahrain is no different and people here are as badly affected as the rest of the world."
He said the last decade has witnessed a mounting epidemic of Type 2 diabetes coupled with obesity.
"This is because the lifestyle has changed, a process associated with the globalisation," said Dr Hussein.
He said Type 2 diabetes is poised to become one of the major challenges to public health and would result in a "huge burden", through premature complications and early mortality.
"With increasing longevity, changes in demographic age distributions, rising urbanisation and modernisation, the number of people with Type 2 diabetes will likely to continue to rise," said Dr Hussein.
He said that more than 246 million people have diabetes across the world and this may exceed 380 million by 2025.
The majority of the new cases will be those with Type 2 diabetes, added Dr Hussein.
"We also know that over the past 10 years, the prevalence of diabetes has increased by over 50 per cent," he said.
Dr Hussein said the projections from the US Centre for Disease Control are that over the next 50 years, diabetes will increase by another 165 per cent.
"More than 3.5 million people die every year from diabetes-related causes," he said.
"According to the International Diabetes Federation, five Gulf countries, including Bahrain, have among the highest diabetes prevalence rates in the world." Dr Hussein said that diabetes was also the leading cause of blindness, renal failure, amputations, stroke and heart attack. "In spite of all this, awareness remains pitifully low," he said. –
Dr Hussein was speaking ahead of the World Diabetes Day, which is marked on November 14 every year.
The day, being celebrated under the theme Diabetes in Children and Adolescents, aims to raise awareness of the warning signs of diabetes, encourage initiatives to reduce various illnesses associated with diabetes and promote healthy lifestyles to prevent Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin) among children. – TradeArabia News Service