18 diabetics undergo unique medical study

AJMAN - The Ajman Medical District announced the completion of the first phase of a unique medical study on diabetic patients in the UAE on Monday.

By (By a staff reporter)

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Published: Tue 27 Apr 2004, 10:04 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:01 AM

The Diabetes Services Centre (DCC) in Karlsburg, Germany, is carrying out the pilot study in conjunction with the Ajman University for Science and Technology (AUST) Network and Khalifa Hospital.

Eighteen eager volunteers, all insulin dependent type one and type two diabetics, agreed to have an electronic device implanted to monitor their blood glucose levels throughout the day and transmit the data collected to the DCC in Germany for analysis. The data is also sent to Khalifa Hospital where doctors can better understand the specific requirements for each patient and determine the best treatment and life-style adjustments for each patient.

Dr Eckhard Salzsieder, from Institut for Diabetes "Gerhardt Katsch", in Karlsburg, delivered a presentation on the pilot study titled: "Prospective, randomised, open study in insulin treated diabetic UAE volunteers", which used the Constant Glucose Measurement System (CGMS/KADIS).

He said that this system had substantially reduced treatment cost per diabetic patient in Germany by as much as Euros 6,000 and improved patients' quality of life when it was first introduced in Germany 15 years ago.

Dr Eckhard said that this system is being applied for the first time in the Middle East, adding that the purpose of the three-month study is to improve quality of life for diabetics so that they can enjoy a normal life as though they never suffered from this disease. The second phase of the study should be complete by July and the final data from the study should be analysed by September.

Out of the 18 selected diabetic patients who agreed to take part in the study, 50 per cent are expatriates and 50 per cent are UAE nationals, 12 are females and six are males, seven suffer from type one diabetes while 11 suffer from type two, their ages range from 20 to 45 years and the duration of the disease in all the volunteers ranges between eight and nine years.

Dr Eckhard said that the cost for the pilot study came to $68,000, to be shared between the DCC and the AUST Network. Present at the Press conference held at the AUST campus in Al Jarf, were Dr Saeed Salman, President of the AUST Network, and Abdul Rahman Al Nuaimi, Director of the Ajman Medical District.

Mr Al Nuaimi stressed the need for research into diabetes pointing to the devastating impact the disease has on the local community with 25 per cent of UAE nationals and 24 per cent of Arab expatriates diabetic, according to a joint UAE Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation study.

He said the medical district in Ajman is happy to support and join hands with the AUST Network's initiative, especially since the district is in the process of setting up a specialised centre for treating diabetes in Ajman, to be ready by late next year.

He said the medical district receives many cases of diabetics coming to hospital with heart problems, retinal and eye problems and kidney problems, all caused by this disease.

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