HBKU Press Highlights The Importance of Youth Awareness on Diabetes

Doha, Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) Press collaborate with its online open access platform, Qscience.com looks to raise couple youth awareness and education in conjunction with early detection among youth as a way to combat diabetes; and to reinforce the importance of an open dialogue between youth and their elders when it comes to Type II diabetes.

Executive Director of Qatar Diabetes Association, Dr. Abdulla Al Hamaq, explains that efforts are already underway to support youth awareness saying,"With the high prevalence of obese and overweight youth and diabetes in adults, it is very likely that the prevalence of pre-diabetes and Type II diabetes will increase in the young population," Al Hamaq explains. "Working on prevention is the best. QDA is stepping up its awareness activity in schools and universities and conducts two weight reduction camps per year targeting the youth who are identified with high risk of diabetes." A group of scientists led by Abdelilah Arredouani from the Diabetes Research Center at the Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), a research institute of HBKU, and Dr. Mario Falchi from the Department of Twin Research at Kings College in London, have been taking a look at a specific salivary protein, alpha-amylase which is produced by the salivary glands and is released in saliva, as an indicator of people at-risk for Type II diabetes. The team has based their research on other studies of the protein.

"The study is a follow up of other studies that showed an association between low levels of salivary amylase and obesity and glucose intolerance," explains Arredouani. "However, the mechanisms underlying these associations are not understood. In our study, we tried to decipher these mechanisms by selecting individuals that differ only in the levels of serum salivary amylase." This is the first study that concluded after trials that individuals with low levels alpha-amylase may cause the body's energy production sources to switch from sugars to fatty acids. This type of genetic indicator can lead to early detection of at-risk youth which will allow doctors and healthcare practitioners to properly implement intervention and awareness campaigns that are tailored to those deemed at risk, thus, making them more effective.

They found that simply informing youth about the disease, its causes and preventative methods would enable them to make better life choices in relation to the disease. A total of 87 % and 100 % of girls and boys respectively felt ready to devise an action plan for their own improved health after being involved in an intervention program that provided them with information about how healthy food choices and exercise could decrease their chances of getting Type II diabetes.

Diabetes is categorized into two different types: Type I diabetes is passed on genetically and is not related to eating habits or lifestyle choices; and Type II diabetes is a symptom of an unhealthy lifestyle that includes poor eating habits, excessive weight gain, lack of exercise and a low level of overall fitness. While the disease is not curable, it can be prevented by maintaining a healthy diet and getting regular exercise and be treated by insulin intakes and oral medications in addition to this.

Source: Qatar News Agency