Diabetes in Singapore

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are lifelong conditions that can affect every part of an individual’s life. Both need to be looked after to reduce the risk of consequences of diabetes, improve quality of life and life expectancy.  While type 2 diabetes is largely preventable and can often be managed by healthy eating and exercise alone, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age but it generally occurs in children and young adults. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented.

Type 2 diabetes is the world’s fastest growing lifestyle disease.

Diabetes in Singapore Facts & Statistics

The Ministry of Health’s Healthy Lifestyle survey in 1992 showed:

  • 8.6% of the adult population aged 18 years and above have diabetes mellitus
  • Males are more commonly affected than females
  • Prevalence rates of diabetes rises with age:
    • 18 – 39 years : 2.5%
    • 40 years and above : 17.9%
  • The three ethnic groups have significantly different prevalence rates:
    • Chinese : 8.0%
    • Malays : 9.3%
    • Indians : 12.7%
  • More people die from diabetes and its complications than from breast and prostate cancer combined.
  • People with unmanaged diabetes could die up to 15 years younger.
  • Type 2 diabetes can be largely prevented through healthy eating, exercise and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Half of all women diagnosed with gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
  • Overweight or obese children are at increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

 

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