Spike in diabetes

A Diabetic patient injecting himself with insulin.

DIABETES is spiking, if the number of patients seeking treatment at the National Healthcare Group (NHG) is any indication. NHG also says that the problem is worse for Malays and Indians, who are also not managing their condition as well as their Chinese counterparts.

The number of diabetics treated at NHG shot up from 96,970 in 2010 to 110,554 in 2013 - a jump of 14 per cent.

What's more, Malay and Indian patients seem to be struggling to manage their condition. Only about 70 per cent of Malay and Indian diabetic patients were able to maintain good haemoglobin A1 (HbA1c) levels of within 8 per cent, compared to 81 per cent of Chinese patients, according to data from 2013.

Dr Matthias Toh, a public health physician at NHG, suspects this could be due to differences in dietary habits, which he said could also be linked to the higher incidence of obesity in the Malay and Indian community.

Diabetes, when not controlled, can lead to complications such as eye and kidney diseases, heart attacks and gangrene caused by poor blood circulation - which when severe could result in the amputation of limbs.

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