Global diabetes cases surge with steady rise in Thailand


Diabetes is on the rise globally with a staggering 537 million people affected, including a steady increase in Thailand averaging 300,000 new cases per year. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) highlighted the risk factors of escalating global diabetes, focusing on family history, obesity, overweight, high waist circumference, and high blood pressure as key elements.

The IDF designated tomorrow, November 14 as World Diabetes Day and this year, the theme is Diabetes: Know your risk, Know your response. This theme emphasises the importance of understanding the risks associated with diabetes and its complications, stressing the significance of access to information, knowledge, and appropriate care for the general public and at-risk groups.

Data from the IDF Diabetes Atlas revealed that there are 537 million diabetics worldwide, with over 90% having type 2 diabetes. Nearly half of these cases remain undiagnosed. It is forecasted that by the year 2030, this number will rise to 643 million, and by 2045, it will increase further to 783 million.

Risk factors for global diabetes include a family history of the disease, obesity, overweight, high waist circumference, high blood pressure, a fondness for sweet food, insufficient physical activity, smoking, and drinking alcohol.

Prevention can be achieved through behaviour modification, including diversifying one’s diet with a focus on vegetables, fruits, and various whole grains.

Reducing sweet, fatty, and salty foods, maintaining regular exercise, ensuring mental well-being, getting sufficient sleep (seven to eight hours per day), and refraining from smoking and drinking alcohol are also recommended.

Global diabetes cases surge with steady rise in Thailand | News by Thaiger
Last year, the Embassy of Denmark in Thailand in collaboration with Novo Nordisk Pharma (Thailand) sought innovative ways in healthcare to curb the staggering numbers of diabetic cases plaguing the country. They aim to meet the unmet medical needs of diabetic patients, developing innovations in the field of healthcare. Photo by Bangkok Post.

In Thailand, according to the Ministry of Public Health’s statistical report, the incidence of diabetes is continuously increasing. This year, there were 300,000 new patients per year. By next year, the number of accumulated diabetics had reached 3.3 million, an increase of 150,000 from this year.

For the screening of new patients this year, it was found that 5 million people aged 35 and over had yet to be screened for diabetes out of a nationwide target of 22 million people.

Dr Direk Khampaen, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Disease Control, said people aged 35 and over should be screened for diabetes once a year. Blood sugar levels should be less than 100 milligrams per deciliter. Early detection and treatment can reduce the risk of severe complications and potential fatality.

Dr Krissada Hanbunjerd, Director of the Non-Communicable Disease Division, explained that diabetes results from abnormal hormone function, leading to high blood sugar levels. Long-term high sugar levels can lead to organ degradation, causing complications in the eyes, kidneys, heart vessels, and brain vessels.

The most common type of diabetes is type 2, resulting from insulin resistance. Initially, there may be no symptoms, and it is often detected when health checks are conducted in people aged 35 and over who are overweight or obese, reported KhaoSod.

Preventing complications in diabetics can be achieved by controlling blood sugar levels, controlling diet, reducing sweet, fatty, and salty foods, regular doctor visits, taking prescribed medications, regular exercise, self-foot examinations, and refraining from smoking and drinking alcohol.

For more information, please contact the Department of Disease Control hotline at 1422.

Thailand News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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