One in four Hong Kong diabetics will develop heart or kidney failure

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Blood sugar

Diabetic Hongkongers should pay more attention to how they control blood glucose levels after research found that one in four diabetics in the SAR will develop severe complications, including heart or kidney failure, within seven years.

That means that 16,000 of Hong Kong’s more than 390,000 diabetics could die within that time period after diagnosis, and more than 11,000 could develop kidney disease.

The figures are based on a study of 25,344 patients between 1994 and 2015, which found that 27% suffered an occurrence of serious complications over a seven-year observation period. 

Of the patients, almost 14% died within that period, while 9.4% contracted terminal kidney disease—a grave concern in a nation where the number of diabetics is expected to increase to over 1m by 2030.

Hongkongers are more predisposed to such complications due to their genetic make-up, according to Andrea Luk, an associate professor in Chinese University’s department of medicine and therapeutics.

According to one study from 2006, Asian diabetics are 14% more likely to develop diabetic kidney disease than Caucasians. 

The risk of complications is not the same among different races, partly because of different genes​,” Prof. Luk said. 

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