Type 2 diabetes is an increasing epidemic in Asia. This is demonstrated by the rapid rise in diabetic cases over a short period, particularly in those of a relatively young age and low body mass index. Prevention and control of diabetes should be a top public health priority in Asian populations.
The prevalence of diabetes in Asian populations has increased rapidly in recent decades. In 2007, more than 110 million individuals in Asia were living with diabetes, with a disproportionate burden among the young and middle aged. Similarly, rates of overweight and obesity are increasing sharply, driven by economic development, nutrition transition, and increasingly sedentary lifestyles. The “metabolically obese” phenotype (i.e. normal body weight with increased abdominal obesity is common in Asian populations. The increased risk of gestational diabetes, combined with exposure to poor nutrition in utero and overnutrition in later life in some populations, may contribute to the increasing diabetes epidemic through “diabetes begetting diabetes”. While young age of onset and long disease duration place Asian patients with diabetes at high risk for cardiorenal complications, cancer is emerging as an important cause of morbidity and mortality.
Dr. Felicitas Enneking, Specialist in Internal Medicine at Double Check commented: The numbers of individuals with impaired glucose tolerance or pre-diabetes will increase substantially. The Asian population are indeed ever more affected as they adopt to a Western diet. Weaker environmental laws and regulations also expose them to increasing levels of toxins, which are significant cause of obesity. Avoiding treating established diabetics with insulin should also be considered as when diabetics start taking insulin shots, they usually gain weight, their blood pressure and cholesterol begin to rise, and they can become depressed. Insulin will help the blood sugar come down, but the real causes of diabetes are never addressed.
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