ISLAMABAD - Diabetes kills one person after every eight seconds and causes one million amputations every year around the world. Terming diabetes an ever-escalating health threat, Consultant Endocrinologist at Shifa International Hospital (SIH) Dr. Usama Ishtiaq advised masses and diabetic patients to adopt preventive measures to avoid serious health hazards including limbs' amputation posed by diabetes. Treatment is costly as well as difficult than prevention, he said adding after every 10 seconds two people are diagnosed with diabetes.

He was addressing a public awareness seminar organized by the Shifa International Hospital to observe the World Diabetes Day here on Wednesday. The World Diabetes Day is marked every year around the world on November 14.

A large number of patients with diabetes, doctors, medical students and masses attended the seminar. Free blood glucose tests to check diabetes were also conducted.

Dr. Usama said that 371 million people are living with diabetes. While half of the people who die from diabetes are under the age of 60. Highest prevalence of diabetes is in China and India. Pakistan is at 10th position with above 6.5 million diabetic patients between 20 to 79 years of age.

He said that 70,000 children suffer from type-1 diabetes every year. He observed that diabetes can badly affect eyes, brain, heart, kidneys and legs. It's one of the major causes of blindness and kidney failure.

While informing the audience about symptoms, Dr. Usama said that need to urinate several times, feeling severe thirst, reducing weight and fatigue and weakness are important symptoms of diabetes.

Taking balanced diet, regular exercise, weight control, regular medication and proper blood glucose level tests are a few essential factors that can help to control diabetes and avoid complications, he recommended.

In his remarks, Consultant Cardiologist Dr. Saeedullah Shah said that diabetic patients are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases that kill millions of people every year.  He also said that chances of having metabolic syndrome and diabetes are also very high among people with cardiovascular diseases.

Dr. Shah informed the audience that metabolic syndrome is a disease that is comprised of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and high glucose level or pre-diabetes. He stressed that if we recognize and manage metabolic syndrome, we can reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.