What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how your body uses glucose (sugar), the main source of energy for the body. Glucose is a type of sugar that your body uses as a source of energy. After you eat, your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, which enters your bloodstream. Your pancreas then produces insulin, which helps your cells absorb glucose from your bloodstream and use it for energy.
In people with diabetes, however, their bodies either don’t produce enough insulin or are not able to use it properly. This results in high levels of glucose in the blood, which can lead to a variety of health problems if left untreated.
How common is Diabetes in Singapore?
Diabetes is a significant health concern in Singapore, with a high prevalence rate. According to the International Diabetes Federation, Singapore has the second-highest proportion of diabetics among developed nations, with an estimated prevalence of 10.5% of the population. This means that approximately 600,000 people in Singapore are living with diabetes. Additionally, it is estimated that another 400,000 people in Singapore have undiagnosed diabetes.
The prevalence of diabetes in Singapore has been steadily increasing over the past few decades, and it is projected to continue to rise in the future. This is due to several factors, including an aging population, changing dietary habits, and sedentary lifestyles.
There are also significant economic costs associated with diabetes in Singapore. According to a study by the National University of Singapore, the economic burden of diabetes in Singapore was estimated to be around SGD 1.8 billion in 2010, and this is projected to increase to SGD 2.5 billion by 2050. These costs include direct medical costs, such as hospitalization and medication, as well as indirect costs, such as lost productivity and decreased quality of life.
The government of Singapore has recognized the significant impact of diabetes on the population and has implemented several measures to address the issue. This includes promoting healthy eating and physical activity through public campaigns, increasing access to diabetes education and screening, and providing subsidies for diabetes medication and supplies. However, there is still a need for continued efforts to prevent and manage diabetes in Singapore, given the high prevalence and economic burden of the disease.