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Malay diabetes have 'higher heart attack risk' (The Sunday Times, 9/11/2014)

 

By Salma Khalik

 

A Malay diabetic is far more likely to suffer
a heart attack, stroke or kidney failure
than an Indian or Chinese with diabetes.
This finding from a decade-long
study of 2,337 diabetic patients by the
clinical research unit at Khoo Teck Puat
Hospital (KTPH), was revealed yesterday
at a forum held by health-care group Alexandra
Health System, which runs
KTPH.
Patients in the study, who have had
the disease for about 12 years, were recruited
between 2002 and 2011, with a
mean follow-up period of 4.5 years.
The study found that Malay patients
were four to eight times more likely to
get a heart attack or stroke than the average
Singaporean with no diabetes.
An Indian patient is slightly better
off, with a risk that is 3.5 to 7.5 times
higher, while a Chinese with diabetes
has two to four times the risk.
The risk depends on one’s gender,
age and ability to control blood sugar
levels, among other things.
Associate Professor Lim Su Chi, director
of the unit, said heart attacks and
strokes are the main causes of illness
and premature deaths among diabetics
– even more so than kidney failure.
The team also found that Malay patients
face a higher risk because they are
more likely to suffer from diabetic kidney
disease – which in the long term
would lead to kidney failure and the
need for dialysis.
The risk to Indians comes from their
having high blood pressure or high cholesterol
levels – both risk factors for cardiovascular
disease.
Because of this underlying problem,
Malays with diabetes are also four times
as likely as Indian patients to suffer
from kidney failure.
Chinese diabetics have twice the risk
of kidney failure compared to Indians,
but half that of Malays.
Prof Lim said the early detection and
treatment of kidney problems could
help Malay patients prevent kidney failure,
heart attacks or stroke.
The team also noticed that Indians
appeared to get diabetes at a younger
age. On average, Indians become diabetic
at 44, compared with Malays (46) and
Chinese (48).
Prof Lim added that all diabetics can
help prevent heart attacks, stroke and
kidney failure with lifestyle changes
that include not smoking, and “intensive
control” of blood pressure, cholesterol
and blood sugar levels.

 

A Malay diabetic is far more likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke or kidney failure than an Indian or Chinese with diabetes.

This finding from a decade-long study of 2,337 diabetic patients by the clinical research unit at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH), was revealed yesterday at a forum held by health-care group Alexandra Health System, which runs KTPH.

Patients in the study, who have had the disease for about 12 years, were recruited between 2002 and 2011, with a mean follow-up period of 4.5 years.

The study found that Malay patients were four to eight times more likely to get a heart attack or stroke than the average Singaporean with no diabetes.

An Indian patient is slightly better off, with a risk that is 3.5 to 7.5 times higher, while a Chinese with diabetes has two to four times the risk.

The risk depends on one’s gender, age and ability to control blood sugar levels, among other things.

Associate Professor Lim Su Chi, director of the unit, said heart attacks and strokes are the main causes of illness and premature deaths among diabetics – even more so than kidney failure.

The team also found that Malay patients face a higher risk because they are more likely to suffer from diabetic kidney disease – which in the long term would lead to kidney failure and the need for dialysis.

The risk to Indians comes from their having high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels – both risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Because of this underlying problem, Malays with diabetes are also four times as likely as Indian patients to suffer from kidney failure.

Chinese diabetics have twice the riskof kidney failure compared to Indians, but half that of Malays.

Prof Lim said the early detection and treatment of kidney problems could help Malay patients prevent kidney failure, heart attacks or stroke.

The team also noticed that Indians appeared to get diabetes at a younger age. On average, Indians become diabetic at 44, compared with Malays (46) andChinese (48).

Prof Lim added that all diabetics can help prevent heart attacks, stroke and kidney failure with lifestyle changes that include not smoking, and "intensive control” of blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.


Email: salma@sph.com.sg

Source: The Sunday Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.