Diabetes is increasingly taking hold in Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East. According to Dr. Ala Alwan, assistant director general for noncommunicable diseases and mental health at the World Health Organization (WHO), the problem is already vast and is increasing at an alarming rate.
I once had a doctor ask me what I'd do if someone offered me a drink or a cigarette. I was a teenager, recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and it was the first time that I had seen her. When I told her that I didn't drink or smoke, she kept hounding me with questions as if I were lying. I grew tired of telling her the same thing over and over. She just didn't seem to hear what I was saying. Maybe she was just trying to scare me from starting, but I left feeling annoyed and convinced that I needed to find a different doctor.
Four risk factors-all of them preventable-reduce life expectancy among U.S. men by 4.9 years and among U.S. women by 4.1 years, according to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. (According to U.N. figures, current U.S. life expectancy is 75.6 years for men and 80.8 years for women.)
"People who give up smoking are prone to developing diabetes because they gain weight," TheTimes reported. It said a study has found that quitters are twice as likely as smokers, and 70% more likely than non-smokers, to have type 2 diabetes.
Smoking increases the harmful effects of diabetes by increasing insulin resistance and worsening diabetes control. It raises the likelihood of microvascular and macrovascular complications associated with diabetes. The risk of death from heart disease and stroke is increased, as are the possibilities of neuropathy, nephropathy, and retinopathy.
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