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Diabetes prevention should focus on lifestyle factors.

Demographic and lifestyle factors are largely responsible for the increase of diabetes in Qatar and the region, according to an article in the latest edition of Qatar Medical Journal.

The article, "Prevention of Type II diabetes mellitus in Qatar: Who is at risk?" presents the results of a case-control study conducted at Hamad Medical Corporation Hospital (HMC) to identify the key risk factors for Type II diabetes among Qatar's total population. The study was led by a team of researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in both of its branches in New York and Qatar, as well as physicians at HMC. The work was supported by Qatar Foundation, the Weill Cornell Clinical and Translational Science Centre, and the Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Biomathematics Research Core of Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar.

"The Qatar National Health Strategy has identified diabetes as one of the high-priority diseases for preventive healthcare, and for good reason," said principal investigator and senior author Dr Alvin I Mushlin, the Nanette Laitman Distinguished Professor of Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

"In addition to its direct effect on health and quality of life, diabetes is a cause of conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, kidney failure, cardiovascular disease and associated heart attacks, strokes, and earlier death."

"We undertook this study to delineate the risk factors for diabetes in Qatar, to highlight areas for future research, and to make recommendations to lower the prevalence of this disease," said Dr Mushlin.

The study involved 459 patients with Type II diabetes mellitus (DM) from Hamad Medical Corporation outpatient adult diabetes clinics, and 342 control patients from various outpatient clinics and inpatient departments at HMC, during the years 2006-2008.

"In our study, Qatari nationality was the strongest risk factor for DM, followed by higher income, obesity, no college education, and no vigorous or moderate exercise," said lead author Dr Paul J Christos, lecturer in Healthcare Policy and Research in the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

Since over 80% of the population of Qatar consists of expatriates from countries throughout the Arab world, South Asia, and other regions, the researchers also conducted a sub-analysis of only Qatari nationals to see if this group had a different risk factor profile than the population at large.

"While, recently, there have been discussions about the role of genetic factors in the rising diabetes levels, our analysis suggests that socio-economic and lifestyle factors are more influential," said study co-author Hiam Chemaitelly, an epidemiologist in the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Group at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar.

"This should be seen as encouraging," she added, "since many lifestyle factors can be modified."

HMC to provide home dialysis by year-end

Hamad Medical Corporation will provide dialysis services to patients at their homes by the end of this year, local Arabic daily Al Sharq reported yesterday quoting Dr Fadwa al-Ali, consultant of kidney diseases and transplantation and director of Fahad bin Jassim kidney Centre.

The proposed service is expected to start with 20 nationals as beneficiaries.

The service needs a medical team including nurses and technical staff.

The home dialysis service will be provided from medical centres in Al Rayyan and Al Gharrafa areas. Depending on the number of patients, the facility will be extended to Al Markhiyya, Umm Salal or Mesaimeer.

Dr al-Ali added that the home dialysis service will be the same as that offered at Fahad Bin Jassim Kidney Centre. Currently, 765 renal failure patients in the country require dialysis.

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Publication:Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Jan 12, 2015
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