A new local study on patients with type 2 diabetes across nine Asian territories showed that Singapore has the highest proportion of younger patients.
The study among 319 patients was conducted by the Asian Diabetes Foundation from 2012 to 2014, and included patients from Singapore, Thailand, China, the Philippines, Hong Kong, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
The study found that three in 10 patients in Singapore had diabetes before turning 40.
Younger patients also fared poorly in terms of glucose control, hypertension and cholesterol management compared to older patients.
Hence, doctors said it is timely that a new drug called JANUMET XR was approved by the Health Sciences Authority last year to help patients with type 2 diabetes maintain their blood sugar level.
Currently, patients require multiple drugs for blood sugar control. But doctors said this new drug, which combines two powerful diabetic agents, will help to lower patients’ glucose levels in one dose.
A total of 498,190 people in Singapore have type 2 diabetes and achieving glycaemic control continues to be a challenge for people with diabetes.
“Diabetes has no symptoms. Because of that people do not care — they think they are doing well,” said Dr Ben Ng, a consultant physician at Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Medical Centre. “On top of that, many other lifestyle issues such as too good a diet, lack of exercise and a sedentary lifestyle all contribute to increasing weight and rate of diabetes.”