Pakistan has registered a three fold increase in the incidence rate of diabetes type two during past 20 years with 26.3% inhabitants of the country, encompassing both rural and urban, inflicted with the disease, said Prof Abdul Basit, President (elect) International Diabetes Federation for Asia, Pacific and Mediterranean region here on Sunday. Addressing a program organized by Diabetic Association of Pakistan and WHO Collaborating Center to mark World Diabetes Day he said the last study conducted in 1996-1997 identified 8.9% locals suffering from diabetes.
In his presentation “National Diabetes Survey 2016-17,” based on an epidemiological study simultaneously conducted across the country by a team of trained researchers led by the speaker himself with the support of concerned ministries in the country, IDF, PDA, BIDE and relevant professional bodies, he said elaborate details of the study will be made public on Monday. However, sharing the major findings of the study with his co- professionals during the scientific session of the day long program, the seasoned diabetologist said of the 26.3% people found to be suffering from diabetes 19.2% were those fully conscious of their health status while 7.1% were diagnosed with the ailment during the survey itself. “The survey also found 14.4% people in pre-diabetes phase,” said Prof. Abdul Basit serving as Director, Baqai Institute of Diabetology and Endocrinology (BIDE). “In a nutshell we can safely assume that every fourth person among us is diabetic and this demands urgent intervention to control the situation before it gets all the more serious,” said the speaker.
The survey was said to have also identified an overall 52.6% prevalence of hypertension or high blood pressure in the country, including 27.9% known hypertensive and 24.7% newly diagnosed cases of it. Prof. Abdul Basit also referred to steady increase of obesity among local population mentioning that being over-weight has assumed to be a normal trend with little realization about its implications. Also expressing his concern that many of the people are not even conscious of their being diabetic or hypertensive, factors contributory to their debilitating health, he reiterated need for coordinated efforts to address the situation.
“The fact can not be ignored that diabetes is an emerging threat to public health across the world and is also alarmingly on higher side among people of Asian Indian origin,” he said. In the second part of his presentation the speaker discussed relevance of National Guidelines emphasizing that guidelines have to be adopted in accordance to one’s circumstances. “An important aspect in our context and for many of the developing countries is as how to manage diabetes with limited resources,” said Dr. Abdul Basit.