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‘Family Health Week’ findings warn of UAE diabetes threat

United Arab Emirates: Monday, November 13 - 2006 @ 16:42

In a four-day study, conducted at the hospital’s dedicated kiosk at Ibn Battuta mall, the specialist staff diagnosed a random sample of 1090 visitors and results showed that 11.19 percent of the patients have a random blood sugar (RBS) level higher than the expected normal range. Free blood sugar check-ups will continue at the mall’s China Court till November 15, 2006 along with other consultations.

Dr. Suresh Menon, Senior Specialist Physician at Jebel Ali Hospital said: “Both men and women are at a risk of developing type 2 diabetes if they are overweight. Especially in the GCC countries, the level of physical activity is affected by the climate and our growing dependence on motor vehicles.”

He added, “Further aggravating existing problems, people consume high-fat, high energy-dense foods as opposed to healthy fresh fruit and vegetables which causes an abnormal increase of sugar in their blood levels.”

The normal level of glucose in the blood after fasting for 12 hours ranges between 70 – 110 mg / 100 ml of blood, (milligrams of glucose per millilitre of blood) .If the level of glucose in the blood exceeds 126 mg / 100 ml of blood; then the patient has diabetes. A range of 110 – 125 mg / ml shows that your health is at serious risk.*

Figures from the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) suggest that up to 1.7 billion adults around the world are already at a heightened risk of weight-related heart diseases and illnesses such as type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is classified into two types: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 sufferers, who usually develop the condition as children or young adults, are unable to produce any insulin. The precise cause of type 2 diabetes is unclear, but it is thought to be inherited and other factors such as obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are believed to play an important role.
Today, more than 240 million people worldwide are living with diabetes. New research estimates that within the next 20 years, the figure is expected to grow to 380 million.*

Overweight and obesity affect over half the population and diabetes rates are climbing to 20 per cent of all adults in many Middle Eastern, Asian, and Latin American countries.*

Dr. Suresh Menon, Senior Specialist Physician at Jebel Ali Hospital added: “It appears that excess fat increases insulin resistance raising blood glucose levels and the chance of developing diabetes. People with a greater amount of abdominal fat have a higher risk of developing the condition.”

He added: “People diagnosed with high blood sugar should consume a low-fat, nutritious diet and exercise regularly to reduce the risks of becoming overweight. If these habits are taught to children, there is a greater chance that they will avoid diabetes at a later stage in life.”

“Lifestyle interventions including diet and moderate physical activity can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 40 – 60 per cent,” said Dr. Menon.

Advet Bhambhani, CEO of Jebel Ali Hospital, added: “Keeping in mind the World Diabetes Day, we would like to encourage people to proactively monitor their own health. We are confident that our kiosk at Ibn Battuta mall will raise awareness of preventive health care and of conditions such as Diabetes and Hypertension.”

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Monday, November 13- 2006 @ 16:42 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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