DOHA THE close link between heart disease and diabetes, subject of a recent lecture at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), has serious implications for Qatar with up to 20 percent of the population affected by the disease which is the national health priority of the country. Delivered by award winning clinical scientist, Peter Grant, professor of medicine and head of cardiovascular and diabetes research at the University of Leeds, HMC clinicians and staff, and those from HMC’s academic health system partner organisations attended the lecture.
Prof Grant’s talk was the inaugural event in the 2013 Academic Health System Lecture Series, which will see international experts bring the latest research and new knowledge to Qatar as part of HMC’s transformation into an academic health system.
Prof Grant said the two conditions have a “tight” relationship and the danger lies in late diagnosis of diabetes.
Worldwide, it is estimated 50 percent of people with diabetes have not yet been diagnosed.
“Many people have diabetes but are unaware as they have not yet been diagnosed.
This is a ticking clock,” he said. “The risks of cardiovascular disease may have developed before type 2 diabetes is diagnosed.
For patients in a state of pre-diabetes, the risk of developing heart disease is a major public health issue.” In the next 10 years, Prof Grant predicts significant changes in our approach to understanding and managing diabetes. Highlighting the importance of research and bringing experts in diabetes and cardiovascular disease together, Grant encouraged the Gulf States to develop their own research to meet the health needs of the population.
HMC is facilitating research programmes for Qatar to explore rising cases of diabetes and increased risks of heart disease.
“In Qatar and the Gulf States, we are seeing differences in how diabetes presents itself and the aggressive effects of this disease leading to severe health complications. Through patient-centred research, we’re getting a grip on learning more about these differences and developing knowledge and expertise in this region,” said Dr Mahmoud Ali Zirie, senior consultant and head of endocrinology, Diabetes Division, at HMC.
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