People with pre-diabetes to get better support to manage condition: MOH

People with pre-diabetes to get better support to manage condition: MOH

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Health (MOH) said it is looking at ways to help people with pre-diabetes better identify and manage their condition.

Measures could include the use of Medisave under the Chronic Disease Management Programme as well as through the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS), said the ministry in a news release on Tuesday (Nov 14). 

"This will complement the existing suite of initiatives and programmes for persons with pre-diabetes, such as the Health Promotion Board's Diabetes Prevention Programme and the Screen for Life initiative," said MOH. 

About 430,000, or 14 per cent, of Singaporeans aged 18 to 69 years old are diagnosed with pre-diabetes, a condition in which the blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

Without intervention, one in three people with pre-diabetes is likely to develop Type 2 diabetes within eight years, said the ministry. 

"The large number of pre-diabetics underscores the significance of diabetes as a serious public health concern in Singapore," MOH added. 

However, through early diagnosis, appropriate management and follow-up checks, progression from pre-diabetes to Type 2 diabetes is preventable.

"Awareness and early intervention of pre-diabetes play a critical role in our fight against diabetes. We hope that with greater support, pre-diabetic individuals will take more active steps to manage their condition, for better long-term health outcomes," Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong said. 

At the same time, MOH is encouraging Singaporeans to keep using its diabetes risk assessment tool to detect and address the health condition as soon as possible. 

Since its launch, about 20 per cent, or 8,500 people, out of the 44,000 users were found to be at higher risk for the disease.

Health authorities are also urging people to make healthier lifestyle choices.

"The War on Diabetes is a whole-of-nation, whole-of-society effort. Even as the government does its best to provide a supportive environment, health is ultimately a personal responsibility," MOH said. 

Source: CNA/kc