Complications caused by diabetes and consuming tobacco combined are killing around 566,000 people in Pakistan annually.
Besides, these two health issues have also emerged as the leading risk factor for Diabetic Foot Ulcers (DFUs), which are the main cause of amputation in Pakistan.
National and international experts said this on Sunday and called for learning from the experience of developed countries in managing the epidemic of diabetes and its complications.
They said diabetes was killing four hundred thousand people annually in Pakistan while around 166,000 people were dying due to use of tobacco in Pakistan but added that people living with diabetes who were addicted to smoking were also at greater risk of developing Diabetic Foot Ulcers (DFUs), which were cause of 200,000 amputations in the country.
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“Smoking causes dozens of diseases including peripheral arterial disease, which is known to be a risk factor affecting the amputation of diabetic foot. PAD with the highest severity is associated with a 20-fold higher prevalence of amputation in patients with diabetes”, Shahzad Alam, an official of the World Health Organization (WHO) told the National Association of Diabetes Educators of Pakistan (NADEP) Diabetes Footcon which concluded here on Sunday.
President of International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Prof. Andrew Boulton as well as experts from European, Middle Eastern and African countries and many leading health facilities and research centers from Pakistan gave presentations at the three-day conference on the issue of diabetic foot ulcers and called for a national program for the prevention of diabetes and treatment of diabetic foot ulcers among people with diabetes.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 8th, 2021.