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DOHA: The close link between heart disease and diabetes was the subject of a recent lecture to Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) clinicians and staff and those from HMC’s Academic Health System partner organisations. Award winning clinical scientist Peter Grant, Professor of Medicine and Head of Cardiovascular and Diabetes Research, University of Leeds, gave the talk.
Professor Grant’s lecture was the inaugural event in the 2013 Academic Health System Lecture Series, which will see international experts bring the latest research and new knowledge to Qatar as part of HMC’s transformation into an academic health system.
Diabetes is a national health priority in Qatar with up to 20 percent of the population affected by the condition. Professor Grant said the two conditions have a “tight” relationship and the danger lies in late diagnosis of diabetes. Worldwide, it is estimated 50 percent of people with diabetes have not yet been diagnosed.
“Many people have diabetes but are unaware as they have not yet been diagnosed. This is a ticking clock,” he said. “The risks of cardiovascular disease may have developed before type 2 diabetes is diagnosed. For patients in a state of pre-diabetes, the risk of developing heart disease is a major public health issue.”
In the next 10 years, Professor Grant predicts significant changes in our approach to understanding and managing diabetes. Highlighting the importance of research and bringing experts in diabetes and cardiovascular disease together, Professor Grant encouraged Gulf states to develop their own research to meet the health needs of the local population.
HMC is facilitating research programmes for Qatar to explore rising cases of diabetes and increased risks of heart disease.
“In Qatar and other Gulf states, we are seeing differences in how diabetes presents itself and the aggressive effects of this disease leading to severe health complications. Through patient-centred research, we’re getting a grip on learning more about these differences and developing knowledge and expertise in this region,” said Dr Mahmoud Ali Zirie, Senior Consultant and Head of Endocrinology, Diabetes Division, HMC.