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Majority skip medicines for diabetes in UAE.

Summary: The survey conducted for AstraZeneca involved extensive interviews with UAE based physicians and aimed to build a clearer picture on diabetes control in the region.

Many residents struggling with diabetes show a lack-lustre attitude in taking medicines, a new survey involving 200 UAE-based physicians has found.

The survey has also indicated that many patients are not taking their treatment at all.

Experts warn that the tendency to go for self-treatment can often lead to potentially serious health consequences, showing there is a need for new strategies to support patients here.

The survey conducted for AstraZeneca involved extensive interviews with UAE based physicians and aimed to build a clearer picture on diabetes management and control in the region.

The results showed considerable segmentation, with patients being on a variety of treatments and those having HbA1c levels in the 6-8 per cent range.

The goal of treatment for someone with diabetes is to lower their HbA1c to as low as possible.

Dr Amel Bushra El Tayeb, Consultant Endocrinologist at The Diabetes & Endocrine Centre in Dubai, explained that many factors influence how well a person's diabetes is controlled, including their lifestyle, whether they take their medicine as prescribed, and the effectiveness of the treatment taken.

"As doctors, our goal is to work with our patients to get their HbA1c down to a safe level to reduce the risk of associated illness like cardiovascular disease," Dr Amel said. "Unfortunately sometimes people don't take their medication as prescribed or stop taking it altogether or they're resistant to making healthy lifestyle changes and this can contribute to undesirable HbA1c levels1," he said.

Additionally, even when the medicine is taken properly it doesn't lower blood sugar as much as we'd like, he said.

He said the new study offers valuable insight into what treatments are working for which patient groups and highlights where diabetes experts need to look for new strategies.

Dr Tarek Fiad, Consultant Endocrinologist at Shaikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi, explained that diabetes is a progressive disease, which requires more therapies and different approaches over time.

Dissatisfied patients

"Treatments that worked well during the early course of diabetes becomes less effective over the years, which underscores the importance of long-term follow-ups with timely additions of more therapies when the need arises."

"We know that a substantial number of people with diabetes struggle with the long list of medications."

Dr Fiad added that it is not unusual that a large number of medications are required to control diabetes and the complexity of some therapies can drive some patients to omit their medications.

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Apr 22, 2016
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