Wednesday, June 29, 2011


The June 25th issue of Lancet carried a very revealing article about the silent epidermic of diabetes. The authors were Dr Goodarz Danaei leading the group from the Harvard School of Public Health and the co-authors, led by Dr Majid Ezzati from Imperial College, UK. They did a population survey, across 370 countries, involving 2.7 million adults age above 25 years. They measured their fasting blood glucose level. They found that from 1980 - 2008, the incidence of diabetes has increased 18% in males and 23% in females. The number of diabetics in 1980 was 153M and the number in 2008 was 347M. This was attributed to age, population expansion and also, about 30% could be attributed to the rising incidence of obesity. The increase in diabetics was worse in Oceania, South Asia, Central Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, Middle East and North Africa. Basically, everyone. Amongst the developed countries the worse was USA, Greenland, Malta, New Zealand, Spain. The best was Holland, Austria and France. England is somewhere in between.
I suppose, the numbers speak for themselves.
Now what to do? I suppose reducing obesity must be our first objective. The Ministry of Health is moving in the right direction, by removing sugar subsidy ( health amongst one of many reasons ), food labelling, less junkfood in schools, and more exercises.
I think we all know what to do, but doing it seems a different matter.
I suppose, I am just highlighting the issue again, and hope that along the way, some will take note, and the incidence of diabetes will plateau off, before coming down.

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