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Study focuses on spread of disease, risk factors

Doctors warn situation may get out of control

Gulf News

Dubai: A nationwide study is under way to evaluate the lifestyle of UAE residents and gauge the spread of diabetes and its risk factors among the population, a senior Ministry of Health official said yesterday.

The survey is conducted in coordination with Sharjah University and the WHO, said Dr Mahmoud Fikri, Executive Director for Health Policies. He made the announcement on the eve of World Diabetes Day today.

He said several other studies are also being conducted with international research centres such as Baker Diabetes Centre in Australia and Estenio Diabetes and Research Centre in Denmark. Dr Fikri is Chairman of the Diabetes Control Higher National Committee.

The statistical reports of the World Diabetes Federation indicate that the current rate of infection in the UAE is about 18.7 per cent of the population and is expected to reach 21.4 per cent by 2030 if the country does not take steps to fight the disease, the doctor warned.

The doctor said that statistics of the World Diabetes Federation and WHO show that diabetes is one of the most widespread diseases worldwide. He said today there are 366 million diabetics worldwide and that on an average one person dies every seven seconds because of the disease.


He said health-care expenditure on diabetes patients globally reached Dh1.674 trillion while diabetes is rated among the top 10 diseases causing permanent disability, blindness and amputation.

Dr Fikri said that this year, the Ministry of Health implemented the GCC diabetes control strategy and participated in the International Summit for Non-Infectious Diseases in Moscow as well as the UN Summit for Non-Infectious Disease Control.