Friday, September 24

Youths at higher risk of getting diabetes — Doctor

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KOTA KINABALU: Youths nowadays are at a higher risk of getting diabetes because of their sedentary lifestyle.

What was more worrying was the high prevalence of youths suffering from diabetes type 2, said Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) endocrinologist Dr Fung Yin Khet.

“We want to get the message across to the younger generation, of the risks they are facing and how they can prevent themselves from becoming diabetic. They must be educated on the complications caused by the disease,” Fung told reporters yesterday at a press conference by Malaysia Diabetes Association (MDA) Sabah branch chairman Dr Tay Eong Beok on the coming state-level World Diabetes Day 2010 celebration which was scheduled to be held at the SESB hall in Karamunsing here on Nov 13.

Fung who will be presenting a talk on that day, pointed out that obesity was one of the contributing factors to people getting diabetes.

“Obesity is caused by a sedentary lifestyle which most people are having now. In the past, people were more active and participated in outdoor activities.

“Nowadays, the people, especially teenagers, prefer to indulge in indoor activities such as computer games. This is one reason why we see an increase in teenagers being diagnosed with diabetes,” he said, adding that most of them were found to be suffering from type 2 diabetes.

He added that there had been a 100 per cent growth in type 2 diabetes, especially in developed countries throughout the world and this can be related to the growing wealth of the people which means they have more money to spend on snacks and fast food.

In Malaysia, the Third National Health Morbidity Survey which was conducted in 2008 showed that 19.9 per cent of the population aged 30 and above is diabetic.

Of the total, 98 per cent were suffering from type 2 diabetes, he said.

“That is why we need to educate the public about diabetes and how to avoid getting it. We also want to educate diabetics on how to prevent complications arising from the disease,” Fung said.

A lot of these people were detected at a late stage where some already had kidney failure and in need of dialysis, he stressed.

“Therefore it is very important that we educate the younger generation, especially those who are in high risk families because although they cannot change their genetics, they can change their lifestyle, thus reducing the risk of getting the disease,” he said.