betty August 26, 2022

Type 2 diabetes is a health issue that is so concerning, the Singapore government has declared a war on it, calling the disease one of the biggest drains on the healthcare system. In 2013, there were over 400,000 diabetics in Singapore, and this number is projected to reach 1 million by 2050

And men are more likely to get diabetes than women. The 2020 National Population Health Survey (NPHS), jointly conducted by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Health Promotion Board (HPB), reported that the prevalence of diabetes in men above 40 was 10.6 per cent as compared to 8.4 per cent in women.

It is a well-known fact that factors like obesity, an inactive lifestyle and a poor diet increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Obesity rates in Singapore are rising, with more men (11.9 per cent) putting on excess weight than women (9.3 per cent). Almost one in four men here are overweight, with 37.8 per cent of them found to have abdominal obesity, the 2020 NPHS reported. 

The 2020 NPHS also showed that physical activity among Singaporeans fell from 80.1 per cent in 2019 to 76.4 per cent in 2020 – and only a third of Singaporeans engaged in regular exercise, according to the report. 

Why are men more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes?

Dr Tan Kok Kuan, Medical Director, Dr Tan Medical Center, says: “Since obesity is a known risk factor, there have been reports on an increasing rate of diabetes mellitus, or Type 2 diabetes, among Singaporeans in their 30s and 40s.”

He adds: “The average age at which men are diagnosed with diabetes mellitus in Singapore is 50 years old.”

According to Dr Tan, another reason men are more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes mellitus is that they tend to store more belly fat than women.