Health Ministry: Smoking, obesity main contributors to diabetes, hypertension in Malaysia

Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye speaks during an interview with Malay Mail January 31, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye speaks during an interview with Malay Mail January 31, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

MUAR, April 28 — Smoking and obesity are among the major contributors to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes and hypertension in the country which are at an alarming level. 

Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said based on statistics carried out by the Ministry of Health (MOH) every five years, the proportion of adults with diabetes increased from 8.3 per cent to 17.5 per cent in 2015, while for hypertension, it remained at around 30 per cent for the same period. 

He said the study also showed that the proportion of obese adults increased four fold from 4.4 per cent in 1996 to 17.7 per cent by 2015. The percentage of adults who smoked remained at 22 per cent.

“Among the efforts undertaken by MOH to overcome the problem is the ‘Kampungku Sihat’ (Healthy Villages) programme which incorporates community-empowering programmes that mobilise an entire community in preventing diseases such as hypertension and diabetes,” he said.

The state-level programme was launched by Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal at the Pagoh Sports Complex here today. 

Dr Lee said based on interventions made through the programme within a week of its first launch in Langkawi earlier this year, over 63 per cent of those at risk of getting NCDs were referred to facilities under MOH.

He said the implementation of such programmes was necessary in raising public awareness on the prevention of diseases and encouraging them to undergo early detection thereby enlightening the importance and need for the community to lead a healthy lifestyle. — Bernama

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