Materia Medica Malaysiana

December 1, 2007

More deaths from diabetes than cancer

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:01 am

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: Being rich and lazy is not a healthy combination.
Experts have pinpointed this as one of the main reasons why many Malaysians were getting diabetes, causing the number of diabetics to jump by almost 50 per cent in the last 10 years.
Universiti Sains Malaysia Kelantan professor of medicine and director of campus Dr Mafauzy Mohamed said many Malaysians were on a “see food diet”, which meant eating whatever they saw.
“Being rich means more food is exposed to us, so this means we eat more. Modern technology, where everything is done with a click of a button, is also not encouraging a healthy lifestyle as people are having less exercise,” he said during a media briefing on ways to protect the diabetic eye at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre yesterday.
Although diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in the world, Dr Mafauzy said in Malaysia, more people die from diabetes compared to AIDS and cancer-related illnesses.
He also dispelled the myth diabetes was only associated with urban folks.
“That perception is no longer true as we have found that more kampung folk are getting diabetes as a result of their food intake and less exercise, ” he said.
Dr Mafauzy said a diabetic also had a higher risk of getting other complications like renal failure, blindness, reduction of life expectancy by five to 10 years, cardiovascular disease and nerve damage which is seen in almost 70 per cent of patients.
Some patients also had to undergo amputation due to prolonged diabetes.
“But the most harmful for a diabetic patient is to be diagnosed with a serious eye illness, ” Dr Mafauzy said.
He explained that blindness occurred when the small vessels of the eye were damaged by the consequences of diabetes such as increased glucose and raised blood pressure.
“One of the common eye diseases experienced by a diabetic is diabetic retinopathy, which arises from changes in the blood vessels of the retina, a nerve layer behind the eye that senses light. These changes restrict blood flow to the eye and causes blurring of vision, ” he said.
However, through the advancement of technology, experts have come up with a product called Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes (or Field) which reduced the chances of diabetic eye disease by more than 30 per cent.

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