Young people with beer belly at high risk of getting diabetes in their 30s

SINGAPORE - If you are aged under 30 and already have a beer belly, you have a high chance of getting diabetes in your 30s, according to the clinical research unit at the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH).

The team studied close to 2,000 diabetics, including 643 who had diabetes relatively young at a mean age of 33, and found a significant link between a fat belly and diabetes.

The findings were shared on Nov 6 at the start of the three-day Alexandra Health Forum to share research findings and best practices to improve patient care.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong was the guest of honour at the forum.

Another team shared their findings on how older patients on five or more medications, who are also frequently in hospital, stay for shorter periods if the number of medicines they are on are reduced.

KTPH's chief pharmacist, who led the research into this, said: "The prescription of multiple medications to patients may cause more harm than good, especially if the patient is elderly and has multiple conditions.

"In health care, although we practise 'evidence-based medicine', there is still a need to individualise care and not be too caught up in following treatment guidelines to a 'T'."

About 400 health-care professionals are expected to attend the forum held at KTPH.