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The effect of Diabetes in the UAE

The International Diabetes Federation states that 415 million people globally have diabetes. As per research conducted by the International Diabetes Federation, 19.3% of the population in UAE are living with Diabetes.

Diabetes is extremely common these days. Earlier it was seen in people above the age of 50. These days there are innumerable cases of youngsters who have diabetes. There are two common types of diabetes, namely Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is much more common than Type 1 and typically develops in adults, although now children as young as 13 years of age develop the condition. The increase in type 2 diabetes appears to be driven by genetics and unhealthy lifestyle conditions. Genetic factors are out of individual control, however, lifestyle factors like healthy dietary practices and maintaining a healthy weight are factors that can be controlled and managed at an individual level.

Are there any targets that the hospitals are looking to reach from a patient treatment and awareness perspective, or has your hospital been doing anything specific work/campaigns in the diabetes space? 

Aster Clinic considers it our responsibility to create awareness about chronic conditions such as diabetes. From an awareness point of view, we are leaving no stone unturned to spread the message about the condition because Diabetes is a lifestyle-related health issue that is catching its pace within the region. Our aim is to create awareness among people about leading healthier and better lifestyles by taking small measures that can create a big difference. Marking World Diabetes Day on 14th November 2017, we are organizing free blood sugar screening across all Aster Clinics on that specific day. In addition to this, post the screening, individuals with high blood sugar levels, upon consultation with a specialist can be enrolled under Aster Chronic Care@Home free of cost. Aster Chronic Care@Home is an advanced personalized technology catering to improve individual control over chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension. Aster Chronic Care@Home is an advanced technology combining the concept of constant connectivity, advanced smart-device technology, remote chronic care management from home and continuum of care.

What are the myths that people believe about diabetes that are not true?

One common misconception people have about diabetes is that it is not a dangerous disease. Diabetes is a silent killer, most people with Type 2 diabetes do not even know that they suffer from the condition because it depicts no symptoms. Another common misconception people have is that you do not need to test your blood sugar to know if it has spiked high or dipped low. It is true that when your sugar levels drop, you experience a distinct set of symptoms. However, these are not reliable indications and the only way to know is to get checked.

Type I Diabetes is being pushed by researchers here, how important is that compared to type 2? 

Type  1 diabetes is an auto-immune disorder which usually occurs before 20 years of age. It is a serious and challenging disease and long-term management continues to evolve, allowing those with Type 1 diabetes to lead full and active lives. Though rare, when compared to type 2 diabetes, there has been a 21% increase in the prevalence of type 1 diabetes between 2001 and 2009 in the US. Hence it is important that active research in the disease keeps continuing and progressing.
Dr. George Diabetes
Dr. George Cherian

Specialist Physician

Aster Clinic, Al Qusais

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