Diabetes takes its toll on life and limbs

RIYADH: Faisal Al-Gheith

Published — Thursday 21 February 2013

Last update 21 February 2013 3:39 pm

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At least 61 diabetics become physically challenged as a result of the chronic disease, says a survey.
The total number of diabetic cases in a year reaches at least 22,500, it says.
The study, authored by Dr. Khalid Ar-Rbay’an, also reveals that one foot is amputated every 30 seconds worldwide, while one person becomes blind every two minutes.
Ar-Rbay’an teaches at King Saud University.
Six diabetics succumb to the disease every minute, according to the survey.
The total indirect expenses caused by the amputees is more than SR 88 billion.
The findings are contained in a paper entitled “Ratios of Handicaps Sustained by Diabetics in Saudi Arabia,” presented by Dr. Ar-Rbay’an at the 28th Scientific Meeting at King Abdulaziz University for Science and Technology (KAUST).
He gave ratios for amputations, along with its level of threat and percentages of affected people.
“The results show that diabetes is the major cause of blindness, visual impairment, motor impairment, amputation of extremities, various types of paralysis, and the impairment of hearing and speech,” saidAr-Rbay’an.
“These cases of handicap cost large amounts of money to the health services, most of which is indirect,” he added.
Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Sweilim, vice-chairman of KAUST for Scientific Research Promotion, said that there could be immense benefits to national economy and the quality of social life if Saudi Arabia could bring down the percentage of the people who are diagnosed with diabetes by just two percent.

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