18.3 per cent of Malaysians above 18 have diabetes

Health. — DayakDaily.com file pic. // Photo: Pixabay

By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Nov 16: There are approximately 18.3 per cent of Malaysians, aged 18 and above who have diabetes.

Health director general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said, according to data from the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019, the percentage witnessed a significant increase from 11.2 per cent in 2011 and 13.4 per cent in 2015.

He added the majority of diabetes incidences were preventable with good lifestyle habits.

“Diabetes not only has a negative impact on quality of life and health care costs, it also increases the economic burden of individuals, families and communities and reduces national productivity.

“In 2017, it was estimated that the total burden of major non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer on the national economy is RM100 billion, equivalent to 7.35 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).

“Diabetes contributes RM10 billion of that amount, the highest compared to cardiovascular disease (RM2.9 billion) and cancer (RM357 million).

“With regular screening, diabetes can be detected early.

“Adherence to the treatment and advice of health professionals, as well as adopting a healthier lifestyle will help control diabetes at an optimum level, while preventing complications,” he said in his speech in conjunction with the World Diabetes Day which was celebrated on November 14 ever year.

Meanwhile, he added studies showed older people with obesity, diabetes and hypertension were at higher risk for Covid-19 infection and fatality.

Thus, he advised those people who are categorised as higher risk to take precautionary measures such as avoiding crowded places.

He also urged the people to abide by the standard operating procedures (SOPs) laid out by the Ministry of Health (MoH) for the prevention of Covid-19 such as wearing face masks, practice hand washing and maintain physical distancing.

On another note, Dr Noor Hisham said MoH has formulated various programmes and activities related to the prevention and control of NCDs to promote healthy lifestyle and early detection of NCDs throughout the country.

He added MoH hoped Malaysians will be committed to continue to take care of their health to prevent diabetes, especially those at risk. —DayakDaily