Sharp increase in diabetes in Pakistan

KARACHI: Diabetes is one of the major health challenges of 21th century. Currently there are 371 million people living with diabetes another 280 million are at high risk of developing the disease. This number is expected to rise to half a billion by 2030. Pakistan has also seen a sharp increase with 6.6 million people suffering from this disease.

These views were stated by Secretary General Diabetic Association of Pakistan and Director WHO Collaborating Centre for diabetes, Professor A. Samad Shera at a seminar organized by Diabetic Association of Pakistan and WHO Collaborating Centre Karachi at a local hotel.

Prof Shera introduced the theme of World Diabetes Day, “Diabetes Education and Prevention” and campaign slogan for this year “Protect our Future.” He said that by 2030 Pakistan would rank 10th in the world with 11.4 million diabetic patients.

Talking about ‘Diabesity’, Director of Nation Institute of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Dow University of Health Sciences, Professor Zaman Shaikh said that Diabesity is association of diabetes and obesity. He said increase in prevalence of diabetes is closely linked to marked increase in obesity.

“Over every kilogram of body weight loss there is 16 percent reduction in risk of developing diabetes. Health risks associated with obesity are diabetes, heart diseases, high cholesterol, stroke, high blood pressure and psychological disorders.”

Speaking at the occasion, Chief Executive of Kidney Foundation, Professor Jaffer Naqvi, highlighted the topic ”Chronic kidney disease-Diabetic Nephropathy” and said that diabetes has been accepted as global challenge and 30 percent of diabetics would develop chronic kidney disease needing kidney transplant therapy or dialysis.

Naqvi said that dialysis and transplant are very expensive and therefore chronic kidney disease has to be seen from preventive measures rather than by dialysis or transplant.