Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
The earlier diabetes is diagnosed, the sooner treatment, diet and exercise regimes can begin, says Dr Ahed Bisharat, consultant paediatrician at Abu Dhabi’s Burjeel Hospital
The earlier diabetes is diagnosed, the sooner treatment, diet and exercise regimes can begin, says Dr Ahed Bisharat, consultant paediatrician at Abu Dhabi’s Burjeel Hospital

'Parents in the UAE need to learn about diabetes'

More than two-thirds of parents in a survey admit their children have not been screened for diabetes despite a family history of the disease.

ABU DHABI // More than two-thirds of parents in a survey admit their children have not been screened for diabetes despite a family history of the disease.

The survey carried out for Al Aan TV's Nabd Al Arab (Arabs' Pulse) and The National by YouGov found that of 999 parents, 52 per cent had a family history of diabetes.

But 70 per cent of those parents said their children had not been tested to see if they were affected.

That is very worrying, said Dr Ahed Bisharat, consultant paediatrician at Abu Dhabi's Burjeel Hospital.

The earlier diabetes is diagnosed, the sooner treatment, diet and exercise regimes can begin, helping to delay or prevent complications.

"It is a matter of quality of life," Dr Bisharat said.

Complications can include sight and kidney problems, and damage to nerves and vessels in hands and feet, which can eventually lead to gangrene and amputation.

"Their immune system can also be affected," Dr Bisharat said.

All parents should have their children screened, he said, because of the high prevalence of diabetes in the UAE, but it is especially important if there is a family history of the disease.

The test, which requires a simple prick on the finger to obtain a blood sample and measure the glucose level, can be carried out by a family doctor or at a hospital.

Children are usually tested for Type 1 diabetes because Type 2, which is linked to diet and lifestyle, is rare in youngsters.

The test can be performed at any age but if there is a family history it should be done as early as possible, even at one or two years old, said Dr Bisharat.

Parents should also watch for the symptoms of diabetes.

"If parents notice that their children are drinking too much water or passing urine too often, they need to take them to any health centre to measure their blood sugar," he said.

Of the 30 per cent of respondents who took their children for screening, 20 per cent of the youngsters tested positive for diabetes, while 12 per cent were borderline.

Dana Shadid, Al Aan project manager, said that the survey highlighted the need for parents to be better informed about diabetes.

"Parents need to learn more about the disease," he said.

The survey showed that most parents knew little about the disease, "and most probably do not look after themselves to begin with, which explains why their children have not had a check up".

jbell@thenational.ae

ecleland@thenational.ae

* Nabd Al Arab is on Al Aan TV at 8pm tonight

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Marina Square apartments Reem Island: Q1 2% rise. Studio - Dh65-68,000. 1BR - Dh75-95,000. 2BR - Dh110-145,000. 3BR - Dh170-190,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 no change. Sammy Dallal / The National

In pictures: Where Abu Dhabi rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Abu Dhabi have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Screen shot from Vin Deisel's facebook page of he and Michelle Rodriguez in Abu Dhabi for the filming of Fast & Furious 7. April 2014

Fast & Furious in Abu Dhabi, a social media frenzy

Fast & Furious 7 wraps up an eventful and much-anticipated week of filming in the capital. Let's take a look at what went on via the key players' social media, while they were enjoying the delights of the desert.

 A Brabus Mercedes 6x6 Sports Utility Vehicle is readied for display during Auto China 2014 in Beijing, on April 20. Adrian Bradshaw / EPA

In pictures: Auto China 2014 exhibition

Leading automakers have gathered in Beijing for the kickoff of China’s biggest car show, but lacklustre growth and environmental restrictions in the world’s largest car market have thrown uncertainty into the mix. More than 1,100 vehicles are being showcased.

 Ashish Nehra of Chennai Super Kings bowls to Kings XI Punjab at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Hard-hitting Chennai not deterred by opening loss in IPL

But some questions remain about the team's attack ahead of Monday's match against Delhi Daredevils in Abu Dhabi, writes Osman Samiuddin.

 From left: Alex Ritman, his favorite waiter and friend Andy Tillett at Baithal Ravi in 2009. Courtesy Alex Ritman

Lamenting Bur Dubai’s Baithal Ravi Restaurant

When I heard that a fire had ripped through the restaurant known as Ravis in the Bur Dubai district of Dubai, my outburst was met with echoed monosyllabic despair among numerous friends on social media.

 Business class seats inside the Emirates Airbus A380. Chip East / Reuters

In it for the long haul: flying 16 hours with Emirates to LA

Our executive travel reviewer tries out the business class offering on Emirates' longest A380 route - and finds time passing quickly.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National