MANILA, NOVEMBER 17, 2003 (STAR) Every year, a day is set aside to commemorate the World Diabetes Day (WDD) and this year, it is marked tomorrow.

The WDD is a major global awareness campaign for diabetes organized by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO). This year’s theme revolves around the effect of diabetes on the kidney.

Majority of patients with diabetes are at high risk of developing severe kidney disease which may end up in kidney failure, requiring long-term dialysis or kidney transplantation.

Diabetes is the single most common cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD), accounting for 35 to 40 percent of new cases each year.

An early sign of kidney damage is when the kidneys leak small amounts of a protein called albumin into the urine. This can be detected by a simple urine test.

With more damage, the kidneys leak more and more protein, a problem medically known as proteinuria. This has been established as an ominous prognosticator in diabetic patients.

It is estimated that diabetes affects more than 135 million people worldwide, and WHO expects the number to increase to 300 million by 2025.

Diabetes continues to be a growing global health concern. New modalities in the treatment and care of diabetes are constantly being developed, such as early and aggressive treatment of type 2 diabetes.

In line with this year’s WDD celebration, GlaxoSmithKline, one of the leading research-based pharmaceutical companies in the Philippines, will launch a new drug for the management of diabetes.

The new drug, which is a combination of metformin and rosiglitazone, will target insulin resistance and beta cell dysfunction, the underlying causes of type 2 diabetes.

The new drug is seen to provide durable glucose control for patients with type 2 diabetes. According to the landmark United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS), approximately half of patients on monotherapy with metformin or sulfonylurea will require multiple drugs to control the disease within three years.

However, patients with type 2 diabetes should continue to see their doctors for medical recommendations. Their physicians can give them advice on the best way to treat their diabetes as well as a new treatment regimen which may be appropriate for them.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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