26 March 2015 

13th November 2014, Putrajaya

Diabetes in Malaysia

The most recent National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) conducted by the Malaysian Ministry of Health in 2011 (NHMS IV) demonstrated a 31% rise in prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) among adults aged 18 or older in the space of 5 years, growing from 11.6% (reported in the 2006 NHMS III ) to 15.2%. A more recent publication recorded an overall diabetes prevalence of 22.6% in 2013, an almost 100% increase from 2006 (Wan Nazaimoon et al., 2013). In addition to the diagnosed population, it was estimated that more than half (53%) of people with diabetes remained undiagnosed, effectively meaning that only 47% of people with diabetes have been receiving the requisite care. Even among the diagnosed population, only 22% were estimated to have achieved the treatment goal of HbA1c level < 7.0% (Mafauzy et al., 2011).

The prevalence of diabetes among Malaysian adults is only expected to grow due to increased urbanization, and the associated sedentary lifestyle and eating habits. These lifestyle shifts have been causing an increase in abdominal obesity, the main risk factor for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, with an estimated 43% of the Malaysian population having abdominal obesity.

Taking all this into account, it comes as no surprise that diabetes poses a significant healthcare burden in Malaysia. According to a 2010 estimate, treatment of diabetes and its complications accounted for 16% of the Malaysian healthcare budget (2.4 billion Malaysian Ringgits) (Zhang et al., 2010), with the majority of resources being used to treat diabetes complications. Serious complications of poorly treated diabetes included blindness, acute myocardial infarction, kidney failure and lower limb amputations.

In spite of the comprehensive access to care available to diabetes patients and national practice guidelines detailing treatment procedures, there remain a low proportion of patients achieving adequate blood glucose control, resulting in otherwise preventable diabetes complications.

Please download the full report below…

DiabCare Malaysia Action Plan Workshop_13 Nov 2014_Final Report.pdf (English – pdf – 2545 Kb)