Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

NHG Fund

Saving Limbs and Lives of Diabetes Patients
Innovation to Help Reduce Heart Attacks, Stroke, amputations, Blindness and Kidney Failure due to Diabetes

Diabetes is known as the "silent killer", as many of its symptoms are easy-to-miss. Many people can have diabetes for years without knowing it. Not until heart disease, stroke, blindness, and kidney failure set in.

Diabetes has been seen in 2 in 5 stroke victims, 1 in 2 heart attack victims and 2 in 3 new kidney failure cases. Diabetes is also a leading cause of blindness. Locally, an average of 4 patients undergo diabetes-related amputation daily. In fact, Singapore has one of the highest rates of diabetes-induced lower limb amputation worldwide.

How Diabetes leads to Complications
High glucose levels cause blood vessels to become stiff and narrow, cutting down the flow of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood. Without healthy blood flow in the larger vessels, the chances of heart attack, stroke and foot ulcers are increased.  Without healthy blood flow in the small vessels, blindness, kidney failure and neuropathy can occur.

Diabetes on the Rise
The number of people with diabetes in Singapore is estimated to increase to 1 million (from 440,000 in 2014) by 2050.

How does our Innovation Help Patients?
At NHG, we are developing an effective solution to detect the risk of  these complications in people with diabetes. We aim to  detect these complications early so that timely preventive management can be instituted.

Our research has shown that blood vessels may be damaged even when blood sugar levels appear normal. It is hence important to detect blood vessel damage early, even before symptoms and complications appear. Through our cost-effective and non-invasive approach, we aim to prevent diabetes complications.

Not every patient is equally at risk of diabetes complications. The aim of our research is to identify patients at high risks of these complications. By identifying those with higher risks, prevention strategies can be enhanced to delay and prevent the onset of complications.

Find out how you can save the lives of people with diabetes.

Next Story:

Battling a Global Health Concern – AMR

References:
[1] Toh, E. M., & Wong, P. T. (2017, November 8). The Big Read: Apathy, complacency - the worst enemies in Singapore's war against diabetes. https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/apathy-complacency-worst-enemies-in-war-against-diabetes.

[2] Road to Recovery. HealthHub. (2018). https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/1283/road-to-recovery.

[3] Medical College of Georgia. (2009, May 12). New Evidence Of How High Glucose Damages Blood Vessels Could Lead To New Treatments. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 13, 2020 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090511140951.htm

[4] Diabetes Programme: About diabetes. https://www.who.int/diabetes/action_online/basics/en/index3.html.

[5] Diabetes in Singapore. HealthHub. (2019). https://www.healthhub.sg/a-z/diseases-and-conditions/626/diabetes.