Despite the serious health risks that fasting could pose to diabetics, research shows that more than 50 million people with diabetes continue to fast during Ramadan, going against the advice of healthcare professionals. As part of their initiative to understand the best ways to support diabetics who choose to fast, MSD undertook a study assessing 1,066 patients in 43 clinical centres across the Middle East.
Recognizing the critical role that healthcare professionals play in providing advice to people with diabetes wishing to fast, MSD launched a new information kit for healthcare professionals to share and discuss with their patients. In Kuwait this information is expected to support more than 20% of the population who already suffer from diabetes.
The study, which has been published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice, showed that patients with type 2 diabetes who chose to fast during Ramadan and were taking JANUVIA (sitagliptin) experienced less hypoglycaemia than patients taking a sulphonylurea (SU). In addition, the relative risk of symptomatic hypoglycaemia was significantly lower in patients treated with sitagliptin versus patients treated with SUs.
Talking about the results of the study Samer Al Ali, Medical Director, Middle East-MSD, said “The results of this study are extremely important. Hypoglycaemia is a condition that can greatly impact the lives of people with type 2 diabetes and a common problem that diabetics who fast face. Diabetes can result in serious complications and even death when not properly managed and according to the latest IDF results almost 800 Kuwaiti’s die each year as a result of diabetes and its complications. Furthermore, unmanaged diabetes places an additional financial burden on Kuwaiti citizens who on average spend as much as $1,336 per person on diabetes treatment.”
Discussing the potential dangers that Kuwaiti diabetics could face,Dr.Abdulmuhsen Alshammari. Endocrinologis and Diabetologist, at Mubarak Al Kabeer Hospital, and Head of Endocrinology and Diabetes Obstetric Clinic at the Al-Adan Hospital, said, “For people with type 2 diabetes, decreased food intake, increased exercise, along with certain diabetes medications, or insulin are well-known risk factors for hypoglycemia, the hypoglycemia will leads to break their fast and in some cases might require urgent medical assistance to raise the blood glucose. It is extremely important that Kuwaiti’s meet with their doctors before they make their decision to fast so that their physician can support them in developing strategies and treatment plans which will allow them to safely fast.”
MSD’s study marks the first research conducted in the Middle East for people fasting during Ramadan and is a crucial part of the company’s philosophy that raising awareness can reduce the prevalence of serious diseases like diabetes. Currently around 298,000 people in Kuwait suffer from diabetes. According to the latest IDF figures, if prevalence continues to increase at current rates it will have almost tripled by 2030 to reach 698,000.
Thursday, June 7- 2012 @ 13:58 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.