: Diabetes is becoming more chronic in the country following an increase in patients suffering from the deadly disease that exceeded the total anticipated by the Health Ministry.
Its director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said based on a National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) in 2015, the ministry expected that one out of five adults, including 18-year-olds, would suffer from diabetes by 2020.
However, the total anticipated has occurred five years earlier, and now 3.5 million people in this country are diagnosed with the chronic disease.
"What is more worrying is that around 50 per cent of diabetic patients (1.8 million) suffer from this illness without being aware of their condition as there are no early symptoms shown, and they (the patients) also do not do early screening," he said.
"The practice of an unhealthy lifestyle among Malaysians, such as the excessive intake of carbohydrates and sugar, are the main contributors to diabetes," said Noor Hisham after launching the Malaysian Diabetes Educators Conference 2017.
He said, the number of people with diabetes could double if early intervention was not carried out.
"As such, we are now more actively promoting public awareness on the illness and collaborating with non-governmental organisations to educate society.
"The public needs to do health checks for early detection of diabetes, and following that, we are able to treat and monitor the illness from facing other worse complications such as heart disease, hypertension and stroke," he advised.
The annual conference hosted by the Malaysian Diabetes Educators Society (MDES) since 2012 aims to establish ties with various parties in the effort to curb the increase in diabetic patients in the country.