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UAE survey finds key factors to managing diabetes

Diabetes has become increasingly prevalent in the UAE with reportedly over 1 million people in the country suffering from it.

In a recent survey commissioned by Landmark Group, family/social support emerged as vital in successfully managing diabetes – in addition to a thorough understanding of the initial signs and symptoms of the condition to prevent it.

According to the International Diabetes Foundation, by 2020, an estimated 32 per cent of the adult population (between ages 20-79) in the UAE, including both UAE nationals and expatriates, may have diabetes or prediabetes over the next decade, if current trends continue.

Results from the recent survey conducted in the UAE indicated that family and community support, awareness of diabetes symptoms, regular blood testing and improved awareness on the condition as such play the most important role in diabetes prevention and management.

Below is an in-depth look at the results:

* Close to 60 per cent of people between the age of 25-34 years agree that they would struggle to recognise if they were suffering from hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Ages between 16-24 are the least aware of the symptoms of diabetes.

* 77 per cent of respondents emphasised on the need for improved awareness on the condition to ensure effective diagnosis and prevention of any complications.

* 46 per cent of people agree that they lead a sedentary lifestyle and have a poor diet.

* 57 per cent of the survey respondents that have a family member affected by diabetes, think that feeling tired is the main symptom of diabetes. Identifying the early signs and symptoms of diabetes is important to reduce the impact of the disease and maintain good health. Some of the most common signs of type 2 diabetes include constant tiredness, blurred vision, frequent urination, slow healing wounds and weight loss.

* Close to 30 per cent of people with diabetes who participated in the survey strongly agree that they lead a sedentary lifestyle and have a poor diet. As per the International Diabetes Federation, these are the two major risk factors contributing to the high prevalence of diabetes in the UAE and wider region. This calls for a change in the lifestyle – one that addresses the lack of exercise and unhealthy diet. Addressing this, 82 per cent of the total respondents agreed that that they believe they can prevent diabetes by leading an active lifestyle and eating healthy.


* Results from the survey also suggested that 55 per cent of adults encourage their family to be healthy by making home-cooked meals. In addition to this, taking part in recreational activities together, going for regular walks, and discussing about the importance of being healthy topped the list of preferred ways to stay healthy. To successfully manage diabetes, family/social support is imperative in addition to a thorough understanding of the initial signs and symptoms.

Identifying the early signs and symptoms of diabetes is important to reduce the impact of the disease and maintain good health.

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