Lesser physical activities and more time staying at home is the new normal lifestyle brought by the pandemic. However, experts said lack of exercise and decreased activity lead to other medical conditions like obesity, which may develop Type 2 diabetes mellitus or adult diabetes.
“The pandemic and subsequent lockdown have directly affected diabetes control. There is the lack of accessibility, the limitation of movement and lack of exercise, and an increase in anxiety and fear amongst patients and their families,” Dr. Gilbert Vilela, vice president of the Philippine Heart Association, highlighted during a virtual meeting.
Philippine Statistics Authority data showed that there are 37,265 died due to diabetes mellitus, which ranked fourth in 2020 next to heart diseases with 99,680 deaths; cancer 62,289; and 59,736 deaths caused by cerebrovascular diseases.
Vilela said four million adults in the Philippines are diagnosed with diabetes and common comorbidities and complications with type 2 diabetes, including heart diseases. According to their data, more than 32% of those with type 2 diabetes have cardiovascular complications, while more than 87% are either overweight or obese.
The doctor further said, “For the past three years, ischemic heart disease, cancer, and pneumonia have been listed as the top three causes of death in Filipinos, with diabetes following in fourth place. However, the news here is that the increase in ischemic heart disease is only 2.3 percent, while cancer went down by about 10 percent, and pneumonia by about six percent. Diabetes went up by 7.8 percent.”
According to experts, type 2 diabetes makes up about 85% of patients with diabetes. These patients have multiple risk factors. Some are smokers, some are hypertensive, some have cholesterol problems. Thus, to prevent a non-communicable disease such as diabetes, a healthy lifestyle is recommended.