A global survey has been launched by the International Diabetes Federation and Novo Nordisk to assess the level of health awareness of related conditions amongst type two diabetes patients.
Leading cause of death in those with the condition is cardio vascular disease, stroke, heart disease and peripheral artery disease.
The global survey – Taking Diabetes to Heart – is available in multiple languages until March 2018 and people with type 2 diabetes are encouraged to participate.
“The world is facing rising prevalence and incidence of cardiovascular disease among people with type 2 diabetes, due to limited knowledge on prevention, poor access to timely diagnosis, inappropriate treatment and insufficiently informed self-management,” said Dr Shaukat Sadikot, IDF President.
“This survey is a global effort to tackle the underlying issues behind diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, their escalating costs to societies, and support the cost-effective interventions that can help reduce the current burden that they represent.”
Strokes remain a major risk factor in those with diabetes, with young people more at risk in the UAE than elsewhere.
According to figures from the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, about 50 percent of stroke patients in the UAE are aged 45 or younger.
This compares with a global average of 80 percent of patients being 65 or older.
“Stroke is certainly age-related, but that doesn’t mean it can’t affect younger adults,” said Dr Victoria Mifsud, a physician in the Neurological Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
“Risk factors such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are rising, along with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
“We are seeing more people in younger age groups experiencing strokes.”
“The danger is that they will ignore the warning signs because they don’t think they are old enough, or the symptoms may not seem serious at first.
“They’ll often wait to seek help because they think the symptoms may eventually go away.
“But the reality is that from the moment a stroke happens, you are losing nearly two million neurons every minute in the brain.
“Therefore, we always emphasize the importance of acting fast and seeking medical help immediately to limit the long-term damage caused by stroke.”
To take part in the global diabetes survey, visit www.idf.org/takingdiabetes2heart/survey.