Speaking at the Primary Health Congress in Abu Dhabi, Dr John Chambers, a cardiologist at Imperial College London, revealed that a combination of genes and the environment is driving the explosion of metabolic syndrome prevalence, worldwide.
He said that the recent exponential rise in obesity and diabetes is not a genetic shift, rather an environment shift as a direct result of lifestyle habits, and suggested that three hundred and seventy five million people are expected to suffer from diabetes, metabolic syndrome and related disorders by year 2030.
"Family studies suggest that metabolic syndrome is primarily driven by environmental influences. The crucial message is that we can easily make positive changes to the environment factors, such as obesity, physical inactivity and an unfavourable diet," Dr Chambers said.
He stressed that genetic factors also play an important role.
“Increased knowledge of the genetic factors improves understanding of disease mechanisms, gives clues to new treatments and enables us to identify at-risk people,“ he said.
Dr Chambers referred to a new research, genome wide association that has identified 76 new genetics loci for metabolic factors.
"The genome wide association studies have long-lasting implications on the clinical approach to metabolic syndrome. It offers significant insight into the development of new clinical approaches, drugs and treatments,” he said, adding that the study will help drive new treatment, as well as further clinical and drugs studies.
Dr Maha Taysir Barakat, Medical & Research Director and Consultant Endocrinologist, Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC), added that since its inception ICLDC has remained focused on the message of diabetes prevention through healthy diet, active lifestyle and weight management.
Dr Barakat and three experts from Imperial College London are addressing eight sessions over the next two days in the Metabolic Syndrome & Associated Diseases conference in the capital.
The Primary Healthcare Exhibition & Congress aims to act as a catalyst for hospitals, healthcare centres and government agencies to make primary healthcare a high priority. The conference runs in ADNEC from October 11 to 13 2009.
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