SG:Indians: 14.2% with diabetes, 3 in 10 with higher blood pressure

Diabetes and high blood pressure continue to plague Singapore Indians, a recent survey by the MOH has shown. 14.2% and 29.5% of Indians in Singapore have diabetes and high blood pressure, respectively.

 

The prevalence of diabetes among Singapore Indians was higher than the national average of around 10% of all Singaporeans, the National Health Survey 2020 by the Ministry of Health, published in March 2021, showed. When compared to other races, 8.2% of Chinese and 14.4% of Malays have diabetes. 36.1% of Chinese and 37.5% of Malays had higher blood pressure.

The vast majority of diabetes cases are type 2 diabetes – a metabolic disease that causes high blood sugar. When type 2 diabetes onsets, your body’s ability to make insulin is impaired. While diabetes is “incurable” you can indeed slow its progression.

 

Diabetes complications

Complications due to diabetes can cause the following health issues:

  • Heart disease, leading to heart attack and stroke
  • Nephropathy (diabetic kidney disease)
  • Bacterial and fungal conditions
  • Hearing loss
  • Foot infections and sores that have difficulty healing
  • Depression
  • Dementia
  • Neuropathy (nerve damages throughout the body)
  • Retinopathy/vision loss

Type 2 Diabetes Treatment

Diabetes can be treated and in some cases, go into remission, especially with lifestyle and dietary changes.  This includes:

  • Regular exercise
  • Healthy eating
  • Weight loss
  • Medications – the prescription drug metformin which is consumed orally or insulin therapy for more severe cases
  • Regular blood level monitoring

 Type 2 Diabetes Prevention

The best approach to diabetes is pre-emptive. Indians are said to be predisposed to diabetes for two key reasons – genetics, our sugar/flour-heavy diets. There is nothing that we can do about the 1st factor. But we can certainly do a lot about with regards to the 2nd factor. If we combine a healthy diet with exercise and are disciplined about it, we can certainly forestall the onset of diabetes.

Specific keys to preventing and managing diabetes include:

  • Cutting out saturated, trans fats and refined carbohydrates out of our diets.
  • Eating more vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
  • Eating smaller portions, reducing calorie intake.
  • Eliminating or minimizing processed foods
  • Losing weight
  • Exercising 4-5 times a week, 150 minutes total
  • Drinking more water – replacing other beverages such as coffee, tea, sugary drinks and alcohol with water.
  • Reducing sedentary lifestyles

Besides diabetes, high blood pressure is the other major ailment that can cause serious complications. They can be easily forestalled and/or managed. We present 8 tips to preventing and managing high blood pressure

 

Photo credit: Freepik
Comment on this Topic

6 Comments

  1. Good info for Indians. It pains me sometimes to see so many of indian friends struggle with these issues and sometimes when they decide to do somethings it’s too late.

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  2. cut all that is not good for our health

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  3. Have a healthy diet with less carb, more fruits & vegetables and exercise daily! For those above 40 years old, good to cut down on meals, instead of 3 meals maybe can take only 2 meals a day. Eat only when hungry and not according to time! Can include more millets in diet for better health!

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  4. Take a break from the Laddu and Mysore Pak at next Deepavali!

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    1. Easier said than done, considering how many of us are bred with sweet tooths! 🙂

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      1. We have a choice. We can cave into our sweet cravings suffer health issues or take care of ourselves by eating healthy meals and exercising. When you have exercised 3x a week at least and reached your target weight (healthy range) you can reward yourself with one sweet of your choice. Do not overindulge and lose all that you have gained.

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