Poli­cies keep di­a­bet­ics’ num­bers steady

Khaleej Times - - NATION - Asma Ali Zain as­maal­izain@khalee­j­times.com

dubai — Di­a­betes in­ci­dence among Emi­ratis in Dubai re­mains at a steady 19 per cent, re­vealed num­bers from the sec­ond phase of the Dubai Di­a­betes Sur­vey.

It also re­vealed that preva­lence of di­a­betes among ex­pats in Dubai is 14.7 per cent and to­tal di­a­betes preva­lence in Dubai is 15.2 per cent (tak­ing into ac­count both Emi­ratis and ex­pats).

Of­fi­cials said that though there was no in­crease in the num­ber of lo­cals with di­a­betes due to the suc­cess of re­cent health poli­cies, it also meant that fur­ther ac­tion plans were needed to bring down the lev­els to the tar­geted 16.4 per cent by 2021.

On Tues­day, of­fi­cials of Dubai Health Au­thor­ity (DHA) said that the num­bers had not in­creased and also matched the the In­ter­na­tional Di­a­betes Fed­er­a­tion’s (IDF) sur­vey in 2012.

“Hav­ing no change in in­ci­dence is a good sign, as it shows that gov­ern­ment strate­gies and pro­grammes that aim to en­cour­age the adop­tion of healthy life­styles may be work­ing to con­trol and pre­vent di­a­betes in Dubai,” said Dr Fatheya Al Awadi, chair of DHA Di­a­betes Com­mit­tee and head of the En­docrinol­ogy Depart­ment at Dubai Hos­pi­tal.

She also said the re­sults are vi­tal to estab­lish an ef­fec­tive ac­tion plan that will help ful­fill the UAE na­tional strat­egy to re­duce the preva­lence of di­a­betes to 16.4 per cent by 2021.

The sur­vey also re­vealed that the to­tal per­cent­age of un­di­ag­nosed di­a­betes in Emi­ratis is 11 per cent and pre-di­a­betic (high risk of de­vel­op­ing di­a­betes) Emi­ratis is 18.6 per cent.

The per­cent­age of un­di­ag­nosed di­a­betes among ex­pats in Dubai is 11.3 per cent and the to­tal per­cent­age of un­di­ag­nosed di­a­betes in Dubai 11.3 per cent. Mean­while, the to­tal rate of those in the pre­di­a­betic stage among ex­pats is 15.5 per cent and the to­tal rate of the to­tal pre-di­a­betic pop­u­la­tion is around 16 per cent.

Ex­plain­ing the un­changed num­bers, Dr Fatheya added that fac­tors might in­clude the in­creased child birth rate over death rates in Dubai (as re­cent an­nual pop­u­la­tion growth has av­er­aged 7.7 per cent and is considered among the high­est in the world).

She said the vast ma­jor­ity — 64.3 per cent — of the Dubai pop­u­la­tion are be­low the age of 35, mak­ing them at a low risk for di­a­betes, with younger peo­ple less likely to have di­a­betes. “As the pop­u­la­tion ages, they might move from low risk to high risk, which is why pre­ven­tive pro­grammes need to be put in place now,” she added.

Hu­maid Al Qat­tami, Chair­man of the Board and Di­rec­tor-Gen­eral of the DHA, said the UAE and Dubai in spe­cific ex­ert great ef­fort to re­duce di­a­betes preva­lence, in order to de­ter the risks it has on in­di­vid­ual and com­mu­nity health.

He said that the au­thor­ity has adopted many pre­ven­tive and treat­ment pro­grammes to fight di­a­betes, in ad­di­tion to pro­vid­ing the best health ser­vices to di­a­betic pa­tients through state-of-the-art ser­vices, the lat­est med­i­ca­tions and qual­ity health­care.

Hu­maid Al Qat­tami reveals the re­sults of the Dubai Di­a­betes Sur­vey on Tues­day. A DHA of­fi­cial said the re­sults are vi­tal to es­tab­lish an ac­tion plan to fight the disease.

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