DA NANG — About half of the known 4.5 million diabetes patients in Viet Nam have never been properly diagnosed or treated, reports the National Hospital of Endocrinology.
|People in HCM City have their blood sugar levels checked for signs of diabetes - groups of metabolic influences that can lead to high blood sugars. — VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Vy
This is blamed for many of the dangerous complications that arise in some patients, such as kidney failure, high blood pressure, coronary diseases and blindness.
The situation was revealed at a workshop in central Da Nang City on Wednesday to implement a national diabetes prevention project.
National Hospital director Nguyen Van Tien warned that there was a high risk of the ailment affecting people who were not diagnosed early and took no proper preventative steps.
The hospital survey revealed that public awareness of the disease remained low. Only 0.4 per cent of surveyed people were well aware of the disease.
Meanwhile, the number of diabetes patients has increased at an average rate of 7 per cent each year.
In a move to improve the efficiency of the national diabetes prevention project, Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thi Xuyen asked the health sector to focus on screening and early diagnosis.
The sector should also pay attention to spreading information and improving the training of health workers participating in the project.
Doctors advise that diabetes can be controlled if patients undergo periodical examination and treatment to reduce blood-sugar concentration by following proper dietary regime.
"Diabetes patients should eat more fibre-rich food, fruits, and vegetables and eat less fat-rich food and red meat," said Kieu Quoc Khanh, former director of Ha Noi-based hospital of the railway sector.
"They should also limit consumption of foods that increase sugar levels, like bread, potatoes, sweet fruits, fruit juices, cakes, and soft drinks," he said.
"Diabetes patients need to change their lifestyles such as reducing alcoholic intake, quitting smoking, and taking up exercise."
Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases that create high blood sugars, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced.
WHO figures showed that 135 million people around the world had diabetes in 1995, but the number had ballooned to 221 million by 2010. The number is expected to rise to 300 million by 2025. — VNS