Diabetes due to affect half the population by 2050

In a new study by NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (SSHSPH), it has been forecasted that one in two Singaporeans will be suffering from Type 2 diabetes by 2050. We inform you about the risk factors and symptoms so that you can stay vigilant.

Adult onset diabetes

Type 2 diabetes also known as adult onset diabetes is linked to a person’s lifestyle and diet and currently about 12% of Singapore’s population are suffering from it. Diabetes, a chronic disease, occurs when our body is unable to produce enough insulin to function optimally or if we suffer from insulin resistance. This leads to high levels of sugar in the blood.

Due to the fact that more people are getting obese and at a younger age, diabetes levels are bound to increase and the projected figures are proof of that. Yet, type 2 diabetes can be prevented by leading an active lifestyle and eating healthily.

Be aware of diabetes

Bearing in mind the impact diabetes will have in our society, it is still a disease that people are not immediately aware of. In fact it has been found that almost 25% of diabetics do not realize that they have the disease. This is shocking and dangerous because being unaware could be fatal as diabetes is a disease that is all about control.

Here are three ways you can remain vigilant:

Know the risk factors of diabetes

The biggest risk factors include family genetics (whether you have a family history of the disease), weight (whether you are overweight or obese), age and ethnicity (Asians are at higher risk). But the lesser known ones are just as important and they include a family history of other chronic ailments such as heart disease, or having suffered gestational diabetes while you were pregnant.

Recognise the symptoms


If you’re a woman, frequent yeast infections could be a sign that you’re diabetic. This is due to the fact that extra glucose, or sugar, in the bloodstream can trigger yeast growth signaling that the body isn't processing sugar properly. Other signs of diabetes such as thirst, irritability, fatigue and the need to urinate frequently can be mistaken or dismissed as effects of a stressful lifestyle. So if you do suffer these symptoms, it is important to head to the doctor and get your blood sugar checked, to rule out diabetes.

Are you pre-diabetic?


Being pre-diabetic means that the sugar levels in your blood stream are higher than normal but not high enough to be qualified as diabetic. If this is the case, it is important to make drastic changes to both diet and lifestyle so that you do not develop full blown Type 2 diabetes.

Thus it is extremely important to go for medical check-ups yearly and speak to your doctor about other risk factors that you might be unsure of so that you will not just become part of the diabetic statistic in Singapore.