The case for preventing diabetes over cure ― David Heber
NOVEMBER 14 ― As we mark World Diabetes Day today, it is timely to review the fight against diabetes, especially in Singapore.
“If you look at yourself, and at the person sitting to your left, person sitting to your right, most probably at least one of you will have diabetes one day,” said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the National Day Rally in August.
According to the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF), Singapore has one of the highest incidences of diabetes among developed countries, trailing behind only the United States. One in nine Singaporeans aged between 20 and 79 are diabetic, and this number increases further with age, with three in 10 Singaporeans aged over 60 suffering from the disease.
While worrying, these findings are hardly surprising, as Singaporeans have become more sedentary and less active over time, just like other high-income countries.
And contrary to popular belief, the more common type of diabetes is Type 2 diabetes ― a lifestyle disease arising from poor diets and the lack of exercise.
This marks a stark contrast against the cause of Type 1 diabetes ― an auto-immune condition where the body becomes resistant to insulin and loses its ability to produce enough insulin, leading to high blood sugar levels.
Type 1 diabetes is also largely believed to have genetic links, but the underlying cause still baffles scientists and researchers today.
In fact, over 90 per cent of diabetics suffer from Type 2 diabetes, which develops over a two to 10 year period after high levels of blood sugar are recorded.
Studies done at multiple US centres a Continue reading