Pakistan ranked fourth in the world for diabetes prevalence

Better public awareness of diabetes for prevention and treatment needed, say health experts

Web Desk
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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is ranked fourth in the world for diabetes prevalence, so there is a dire need to take emergency steps for the control and prevention of the 'silent killer' characterised by abnormally high glucose levels in the blood, said Dr Sarwar Malik, head of the Federal Government Polyclinic Diabetes Department, on Thursday.

"In Pakistan, the situation regarding diabetes is alarming. We used to rank 10th in the world in terms of having the highest number of people living with diabetes, but now, the ranking position has reached fourth as the disease has reached epidemic proportions," the expert told a World Diabetes Day seminar at the hospital.

Later, a walk was held to highlight the need for adoption of preventive measures against diabetes and early diagnosis of the disease. Polyclinic executive director Dr Shoaib Khan was also in attendance there.

Dr Sarwar Malik called for better public awareness of diabetes for prevention and treatment. He warned that diabetes had the potential to cause damage to various body organs if people were negligent.

The head of the Diabetes Department said the hospital was going to begin an awareness programme for diabetes control and prevention.

He said exercise lowered blood glucose levels and boosts the body's sensitivity to insulin, countering insulin resistance and thus, benefitting people with diabetes.

Polyclinic spokesman Dr Sharif Astori said diet and exercise could sharply lower the likelihood of diabetes, even in people who were at high risk of developing it.

He also called for lifestyle interventions to improve insulin sensitivity and blood lipid profiles and help lower high blood sugar levels. "A healthy, balanced diet and regular physical activity are imperative for diabetes management," he said.

Dr Astori warned obesity increased the chances of developing the common type of diabetes, type 2 diabetes. He said negligence could lead to death by diabetes. 

Later, the participants participated in a walk on the adjoining Argentina Park. Glucometers were distributed to sugar patients free of charge through a draw.