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Diabetes cases rise in RP

One out of five Filipino adults or about 11 million are suffering from either pre-diabetes or diabetes and the local prevalence of the disease has increased dramatically from 2008 to 2012, the Philippine Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism (PSEM) reported.

In an official statement, the group of doctors said the prevalence of diabetes among Filipinos in 2008 was at 7.2 percent but it has risen to 9.7 percent in 2012, according to the National Nutrition and Health Survey (NNHES).

The doctors said the figure will even double if the number of Filipinos at risk of diabetes or those whose blood sugar is raised beyond the normal range, about 12.5 percent of the population, will be added to the number.

Dr. Monica Therese Cating-Cabral of the Philippine Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism (PSEM) cited the Philippine Clinical Practice Guidelines on Diabetes that said diabetes tests should be imperative among Filipinos once they reach 40.

“The lifestyle being followed by most Filipinos in this age group contributes to the risk factors associated with diabetes. The proliferation of different gadgets of communication and entertainment causes less physical activity. Meanwhile, work-related stress can lead to over-eating and result to overweight and obesity,” Cabral said.

Cabral emphasized that testing should be done earlier especially if other risk factors for diabetes are present such as being overweight or obese, previous history of a pre-diabetes or a so-called “borderline” blood sugar level, having first degree relatives with diabetes; diabetes while pregnant and giving birth to a baby weighing more than eight pounds; hypertension; history of heart attack or stroke among other factors. (Jenny Manongdo)