Posted on June 26, 2015

About 5.8% of Qatar’s population is considered to be pre-diabetic and nearly 10% of pregnant women in the country has diabetes, going by the latest statistics from the Supreme Council of Health (SCH), said Gulf Times. It is estimated that 17% of the adult population in Qatar is suffering from diabetes and one third of diabetics are not aware of their disease, according to the latest edition of the SCH magazine Qatar Health. Pre-diabetes occurs as a result of a build-up of sugar in the blood and leads to type2 diabetes, a direct effect of the body’s blood sugar staying too high for too long. 

According to the report, over 70% of the population in Qatar is overweight and obese, and raising community awareness of healthy lifestyle practices can be a vital strategy for reducing the incidence of type2 diabetes in Qatar. The National Centre for Diabetes Treatment provides Qatar’s diabetic population with improved patient care and access to specialised services through a multi-disciplinary approach. The centre also houses research teams studying evidence-based strategies for the treatment and prevention of diabetes and its complications.

The diabetes centre is a first in a chain of diabetic care centres across HMC hospitals that will serve as a one-stop shop with specialist doctors and nutrition experts. The facility boasts of a range of services, including foot care, counselling, blood investigation and insulin pump therapy. A second centre has been opened in Al Wakrah Hospital, and the opening of the third one in Al Khor Hospital is on its way. The report points out that comfort of modern-day life is fast contributing to the rise in both obesity and diabetes, 80 out of 90% of people with diabetes are also diagnosed as being obese. 

According to the report, diabetes can reduce a person’s life expectancy almost 10 years, and International Diabetes Federation, states that there were around 5mn deaths in 2014 as a result of diabetes and related diseases. Nearly half of these deaths were of people aged under 60. The seriousness of the health impact of diabetes is not rightly taken into account as type2 diabetes is typically a disease with slow progression, and its early stages are usually symptom free.

It is to be noted that diabetes doubles the risk of coronary heart disease in men, and quadruples among women. Stroke in people with diabetes is three times higher than others and diabetes is the leading cause of end stage renal disease. Diabetic retinopathy accounts for 5% of all cases of blindness globally.Someone with diabetes is at more than 25 times greater risk of limb amputation than someone without diabetes. 
A fasting blood sugar level less than 100mg/dL (5.6mmo1/L) is considered normal; 100 to 125mg/dL is pre-diabetic; 126mg/dL or higher means the person has full blown diabetes (Type 2/Type1).