Qatari Diabetics at Higher Risk for Strokes and Heart Attacks

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Qatari Diabetics at Higher Risk for Strokes and Heart Attacks

According to Professor Abdul-Badi Abou-Samra at the Qatar Metabolic Institute (QMI) Qataris diagnosed with diabetes have two to four times the risk of having a brain stroke or heart attack than non-diabetics.

Dr Abou-Samra who is also the Chairman of Internal Medicine at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) wants to remind the public that this is a reliable and established link between cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes and strokes. Dr Abou-Samra stated that men and women must make living a healthy lifestyle a bigger priority so that they can take control of their health. 

Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease that is also a significant risk factor for getting heart disease. Nearly sixty per cent of patients who are diagnosed with diabetes eventually dies from heart disease. By being proactive people can better manage their conditions and help reduce risk of heart disease. Early intervention is a crucial first step towards protecting your overall heart and better managing your blood sugar levels so that you can prevent needing to get treatment for congestive heart failure.

According to Dr Abou-Samra, awareness is especially crucial for patients who are pre-diabetic as early intervention, dietary changes and exercise can prevent the need for eventual treatment for heart disease. Proper management of blood sugar levels, unhealthy foods, smoking and high blood pressure, are linked to damage of the heart arteries. Over time the buildup of plaque can lead to narrowing of the arteries causing symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain (angina) and premature fatigue. If a vessel is blocked, a blood clot can form blocking blood flow through the cardiac arteries. A block of blood flow to the heart or brain results in a brain stroke or heart attack.

He also added that people who get diabetes also get heart disease at a much younger age than those without diabetes. This outlines the importance of identifying the risk factors for developing diabetes type II. People with diabetes who also smoke cigarettes have high cholesterol and chronic hypertension. People who have a family history of stroke or heart disease are at an even higher risk.

25% of All Adult Qataris will have Diabetes by 2050

Recent Research at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) predicts that diabetes diagnosis in Qatar will go from a low of 16 per cent in 2011 to at least 25 per cent by 2050. 

With such an alarming increase in the diabetic diagnosis, researchers are also forecasting a high burden on Qatar’s health expenditure. Currently, treatment for diabetes is consuming about 21% of Qatar’s national health expenditure. By 2050, it is estimated that diabetes-related expenses will consume nearly 34% of the national health expenditure.

According to the report, there are several direct and indirect causes of Qatar’s diabetes epidemic. Direct factors such as genetic predisposition, low levels of physical activity, and smoking are still pretty minor compared to the obesity epidemic. The WCM-Q report found that Obesity was by far the primary underlying cause of the diabetes epidemic in Qatar today.

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