Diabetes kills 8,000 Thais each year
- Published: 31 Oct 2013 at 12.51
- Online news:
Diabetes has become a silent threat to the health of Thai people with almost 8,000 dying each year and more than 3.5 million Thais suffering from the disease, according to the Public Health Ministry.
Health Minister Pradit Sintawanarong said the most recent health survey of people aged over 15 years, in 2012, found more than 3.5 million people with diabetes. The incidence of the disease was rising among children who consume more sweet foods and are overweight.
The ministry projected the number of Thais living with diabetes could rise to 4.7 million over the next eight years if there is no effective prevention.
Dr Pradit said one point of concern was that about a third of people with diabetes did not realise they had the disease, because they had never been properly diagnosed.
Moreover, around 70% of people with diabetes cannot control their blood sugar level and many of them progress to heart disease, renal failure, amputations, blindness and other afflictions.
The cost of treating diabetes patients was as high as 47.6 billion baht a year, so prevention was important, he said.
The ministry will, from next year, start providing diabetes tests for up to 90% of people aged over 15 years, to find out about the risk, and offer appropriate consultation with encouragement for them to change their consumption behaviour.
The ministry also sets a goal that at least 40% of diabetes patients will get proper treatment and focus on food control, exercise and medication.
Diabetes is a global threat with more than 371 million people around the world afflicted with the disease. Health authorities estimate that 552 million people will have diabetes by 2020, 80% of them in developing countries.