Thursday 27 April 2017 - 1:39 am

Sun 12-02-2017 12:44 PM

HBKU Press highlights the importance of youth awareness of diabetes on Qatar Sports Day 2017

DOHA, 12th February, 2017 (WAM) -- Type II diabetes is one of the top causes of death in Qatar, despite the fact that it is completely avoidable. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the national prevalence of diabetes in Qatar is around 13.5% of adults between the ages of 20 and 79. According to the World Health Organisation, diabetes accounts for 9 % of the total deaths in Qatar among all age groups, which makes the proportional mortality rate third only to cancers and cardiovascular disease when considering internal, non-communicable diseases.

Hamad bin Khalifa University Press, which publishes peer reviewed journals, monographs, reference books, fiction and non-fiction titles for adults and for children, and aims to promote the love of reading and writing in the region, has published an article entitled, "Diabetes Awareness Among High School Students in Qatar" by Sara Amani from Texas A&M University in Qatar, which details the shocking lack of information and misinformation among high school students today about the causes of diabetes. When asked about the ways to prevent the disease, 30 percent of the 189 high school students interviewed answered "not smoking", 8 percent responded with "washing your hands", and surprisingly even 3 percent responded with "dressing modestly".

A person is diagnosed with diabetes when there is too much glucose in the blood stream and the body cannot produce enough insulin in the pancreas to transfer the sugar from the blood to other areas in the body for energy.

Diabetes is categorised into two different types: Type I diabetes is passed on genetically and is not related to eating habits or lifestyle choices, and Type II diabetes is a symptom of an unhealthy lifestyle that includes poor eating habits, excessive weight gain, lack of exercise and a low level of overall fitness. While the disease is not curable, it can be prevented by maintaining a healthy diet and getting regular exercise and be treated by insulin intakes and oral medications in addition.

Information about diabetes can be found on HBKU Press’s online, open access platform, QScience.com, which is a hub of information that aims to simplify the plethora of information available on diabetes and a variety of other topics, in an effort to make it more accessible. Peer-reviewed research papers and articles about concerning health, the environment, education and so on, are available and can be accessed by researchers and the general public alike.

The lack of information can be easily remedied as detailed by a study published in the Avicenna journal which was written in collaboration between the College of Pharmacy at Qatar University and the Qatar Diabetes Association, a member of Qatar Foundation, entitled, "A programme for obese youth at-risk of diabetes in Qatar". They found that simply informing the young about the disease, its causes and preventative methods, would enable them to make better life choices in relation to the disease. A total of 87 percent of girls and 100 percent of boys felt ready to devise an action plan for their own improved health after being involved in an intervention programme that provided them with information about how healthy food choices and exercise could decrease their chances of getting Type II diabetes.

Dr. Abdulla Al- Hamaq, Executive Director of Qatar Diabetes Association, explained that efforts are already underway to support youth awareness.

"With the high prevalence of obese and overweight youth and diabetes in adults, it is very likely that the prevalence of pre-diabetes and Type II diabetes will increase in the young population. Working on prevention is the best. QDA is stepping up its awareness activity in schools and universities and conducts two weight reduction camps per year targeting the youth who are identified with high risk of diabetes."

The latest research on diabetes looks to couple youth awareness and education in conjunction with early detection among youth as a way to combat diabetes.

[Picture: file]