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Taipei City Hospital


Diabetes Can Occur in Young People Too

The Metabolism Department in the Zhongxiao Branch of Taipei City Hospital has diagnosed and treated three diabetic patients in their 20s and 30s, all of whom are obese, with the BMI exceeding 30. Hou Guan-ting, attending doctor of the Metabolism Department in the Zhongxiao Branch, says that diabetes is one of the most common internal diseases, which can significantly damage the cardiovascular system of the whole body. The average life expectancy of diabetic patients is about 10 years shorter than that of non-diabetics, and the former has a higher risk of suffering from blindness, hemodialysis and amputation.

The incidence rate of Type 2 diabetes increases with ageing; it is noteworthy that more young people suffer from Type 2 diabetes with social progress. The studies of the National Health Insurance Research Database find that 20 - 39 year-old men have a higher tendency of contracting Type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Hou points out that obesity is the cause of diabetes from the perspective of pathological physiology. Those with BMI ≥24 kg/m2 or waistline ≥ 90cm for men or ≥ 80cm for women, in combination with any of the following risk factors (first-degree relatives suffering from diabetes, hypertension, clinical manifestation of insulin resistance, HDL-Cholesterol<35 mg/dl or triglyceride≥250 mg/dl, polycystic ovary syndrome, delivery of over 4kg babies, previous diagnosis of gestational diabetes, history of cardiovascular diseases and lack of exercise) are advised to receive diabetes screening once every three years regardless of their age.

Dr. Hou reminds us that people should examine their own lifestyle and regard obesity as a health alert. By establishing a good lifestyle to keep the doctors away, you can control your own life expectancy and improve your late life quality.