Only 26 per cent believed that Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Nearly 70 per cent of people living with diabetes do not believe that it is a serious disease, according to results from a survey released on Tuesday.
Ahead of World Diabetes Day that is marked on November 14, Emirates Diabetes Society (EDS) released the findings of a Type 2 Diabetes patient survey.
The survey questioned 604 people in the UAE suffering from diabetes of which only 26 per cent believed that Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Dr Abdulrazzaq Al Madani, president of EDS, said: “Type 2 diabetes is a serious epidemic, not only in the UAE, but around the world. Despite numerous efforts, awareness levels remain low, and there is a considerable gap when it comes to Type 2 diabetes awareness and associated CVD risks.”
Based on the results from the survey, 45 per cent do not associate heart disease with diabetes.
“The risks vary among individuals; therefore, it is crucial to leverage the physician-patient relationship. Patients with Type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk of developing heart disease and stroke,” said Dr Al Madani.
Results also showed that 46 per cent do not associate heart attack with it.
“When patients have both hypertension and diabetes, which is a common combination, the risk for CVDs doubles. It is important to assess one’s risk profile through regular check-ups and open conversations with their doctors,” said the doctor.
He also said that addressing the issue on a national level is key to control the spread of diabetes in the UAE. “It can be brought under control through the joint efforts and close collaboration of all the entities across the healthcare continuum,” added Dr Al Madani.
Diabetes is continuously on the rise across the region, putting people at an increasing risk of developing CVDs. There were estimated 1.19 million cases of diabetes in the UAE in 2017 while CVDs are also the number one cause of death globally. The survey was conducted earlier this year by Ipsos, with the support of Boehringer Ingelheim, a pharmaceutical company.
Findings were released along with the launch of a disease awareness campaign ‘Close To Your Heart’, in an effort to understand the current patient profiles and lifestyles along with their knowledge of the link between Type 2 diabetes and CVDs in the UAE.
Key findings of the survey
>Half of total respondents said they were fully aware of the high cardiovascular risk associated with Type 2 diabetes
>More than half (57 per cent) have discussed their condition with the treating physician to lower current risk
>Only 50 per cent of patients believe they are at high risk of CVD
> 45 per cent don’t associate heart disease with the condition
>Only 20 per cent agree that CVD is the number one cause of death for Type 2 diabetes patients
>Fifty-five per cent do not believe it causes death
>Less than a third of the total respondents believe that they’re knowledgeable about Type 2 diabetes
>Patients perceive obesity to be more serious than Type 2 diabetes
>Most patients believe that Type 2 diabetes is marked by high levels of blood sugar, followed by lack of insulin
KT NANO EDIT
Get active, get fit
Have we seriously come to terms with accepting diabetes as a lifestyle disease and being okay with it? Regrettably, the rising incidence of the disease suggests just that. It shouldn’t be the case. Diabetes is the root cause of a host of other diseases, and can seriously compromise the quality of life. An active lifestyle and a balanced diet are all it takes to maintain a sound body. Let’s not get comfortable with such unhealthy notions in life, and strive to build a healthier tomorrow.
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