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Everything that needs to be said about the dangers of diabetes has been said all these years, so Filipinos can’t say that they are still unaware. In fact, in the midst of the Christmas season, one can’t help but think that somewhere, someone who’s binging on booze, food and sweets like there’s no tomorrow would sooner or later find out that he or she is a candidate for diabetes or is already a diabetic.

In the midst of the Christmas season, one can’t help but think that somewhere, someone is binging on booze, food and sweets like there’s no tomorrow

Some 3.7 million adult Filipinos have type 2 diabetes, but there are about an estimated 1.9 million Filipinos who have undiagnosed diabetes, according to a presentation “Controlling Sweetness to Avoid Heartbreak” made by endocrinologist, Dr. Rosa Allyn G. Sy of Cardinal Santos Medical Center recently. Taken all together, there’s close to 6 million Filipinos with diabetes.

So, while it seems that the callout is generally unheeded by most people, AstraZeneca and local diabetes patient group Diabeaters are again encouraging Filipinos to adopt a healthy lifestyle and get regular check-ups for early diagnosis and prompt treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Justin Chin, Country President of AstraZeneca Philippines, also says that Filipinos with type 2 diabetes are also at the greater risk of developing life-threatening cardiovascular diseases.

“We need to increase awareness on the importance of prevention, early detection and optimal management of type 2 diabetes,” says Chin during a recent media briefing with this year’s observance of World Diabetes Day at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel.

AstraZeneca Philippines collaborated with the Quezon City government and Department of Health for self-management workshops and HbA1c testing for type 2 diabetes patients. It also partnered with the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians and Philippine Society of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism to launch a national patient registry for Filipinos with type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Ariel Miranda, Director, Cardinal Santos Cardiovascular Institute, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories, agreed that people with type 2 diabetes face two to five times greater risk of heart failure along with an increased risk of a heart attack or stroke. In addition, one million Filipinos suffer from both diabetes and chronic kidney disease.

Some 3.7 million adult Filipinos have type 2 diabetes, but there are about an estimated 1.9 million Filipinos who have undiagnosed diabetes.

“Heart failure is an early complication of type 2 diabetes. Around 888,000 Filipino diabetics have heart failure. Heart failure accounts for 9 percent of total hospitalizations in the country, which puts a heavy financial burden on patients and their family,” Dr. Miranda reveals.

Dr. Sy, who heads the Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism and Nutrition section of Cardinal Santos Medical Center, explains that type 2 diabetes is usually treated with a combination of medicines that help control blood sugar levels and reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease.

“SGLT2 inhibitors is a class of medicine for type 2 diabetes associated with lower risk of death, heart attack, stroke, and heart failure. SGLT2 inhibitors work by preventing the kidneys from reabsorbing sugar into the blood and instead promotes its elimination in the urine,” Dr. Sy says.

PHOTO shows (from left) Dr. Rosa Allyn Sy, head, Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, and Nutrition, Cardinal Santos Medical Center; Dr. Luc Van Gaal, Professor of Medicine, Department of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Clinical Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Antwerp University Hospital, Belgium; Dr. Ariel Miranda, director, Cardinal Santos Cardiovascular Institute, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories; and Dr. Nemencio Nicodemus, Jr., Professor, University of the Philippines-College of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

AstraZeneca developed Dapagliflozin, a first-in-class SGLT2 inhibitor. For adults with type 2 diabetes, this once-daily pill can help improve blood sugar control with favorable effect on weight and blood pressure with diet and exercise.

It was proven in the landmark DECLARE trial that Dapagliflozin significantly reduced the risk of hospitalization for heart failure and death due to cardiovascular causes in a broad range of patients with type 2 diabetes, as well as provides heart and kidney protection. This was according to Dr. Luc Van Gaal, Professor of Medicine, Department of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Clinical Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Antwerp University Hospital, Belgium.

Some 337 Filipino patients were enrolled in the DECLARE study that involved more than 17,000 patients across 33 countries. Patients with established cardiovascular disease and those with multiple risk factors were included.

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