Diabetes Statistics in Malaysia

Do you have diabetes? To be blunt, have you actually visited the doctor to specifically check your blood sugar level?

The National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019 (NHMS 2019) revealed that 49% of Malaysians living with diabetes had never been examined or diagnosed with the chronic disease.

This is a worrying fact, as it was reported that diabetes is among the 10 principal causes of deaths in 2018.

To make matters worse, the Ministry of Health (MOH) recently revealed that the prevalence rate of diabetes in adults has increased in Malaysia from 13.4% in 2015 to 18.3% in 2019.

This means that there is an estimated 3.9 million adults in Malaysia aged 18 and above were living with diabetes as of 2019, higher than 3.5 million in 2015.

"The rise in the number of diabetes cases in Malaysia is among the worrying findings in the NHMS 2019. About 49% of diabetics in Malaysia have never been screened or diagnosed with the disease," said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.

The report also revealed that highest prevalence rates were found in Negeri Sembilan (33.2%), Perlis (32.6%) and Pahang (25.7%).

Diabetes is a major public health concern in Malaysia, and the prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) has escalated to 20.8% in adults above the age of 30, affecting 2.8 million individuals.

Unfortunately, no cure for diabetes currently exists, but the disease can go into remission. When diabetes goes into remission, it means that the body does not show any signs of diabetes, although the disease is technically still present.

The burden of managing diabetes falls on primary and tertiary health care providers operating in various settings.

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Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels