Marc Blatstein, Dr. Marc Blatstein, is a specialist in the medical and surgical treatment of foot and ankle pathology. He began his medical career in 1985. Having treated diabetic patients over the past 20 years, he has developed a special interest in the prevention of diabetic foot complications –including the all-to-common triad: foot ulceration, infection and amputation. At this point in his career, Marc Blatstein, [Dr. Marc Blatstein] is interested in using the knowledge and skills that he has obtained over the years to assist communities in developing educational and training programs for healthcare workers. His goal is to develop aggressive protocols for the prevention of diabetic complications and the aggressive intervention when a complication arises.
Demonstrating that this is also a global concern, modernization in Asia- including China has come at a price – an increase in diabetes due to a population that eats more and exercises less. Currently (as of this article) in China 40 million people are suffering from diabetes. This makes China second only to India, which recently had at minimum 40.9 million, per Professor Yang Wenying, chairwoman of the diabetes branch of the Chinese Medical Association . Even with that, the figures in China may be under-reported as many cases are thought to be undiagnosed. As a point of reference, in the United States it is estimated that 50% of diabetics are undiagnosed, even though an aggressive program to identify diabetics has been ongoing for the past two decades.
According to Yang, urban areas have the highest incidence with Beijing and Shanghai highest. Here, approximately 10% of the individuals have type 2 diabetes. This is associated with excess body weight, poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle. Worldwide, diabetes is expected to reach 380 million with China having 46.1 million by 2025 according to the International Diabetic Federation http://www.idf.org/ . According to Xiang Kunsan, an expert in endocrinology and metabolism, as well as director of the Shanghai Diabetes Institute , reports that there are 3.8 million deaths each year due to Diabetes. The financial cost of providing health care is compounded by the life long psycho-social condition that requires around the clock self-care.
A majority of health care providers are not properly educated in early identification. Therefore, appropriate early intervention is often not given. As a result, many of those patients ultimately need amputations. Society is left supporting those individuals at an enormous financial cost. Moreover, the financial toll needs to include the emotional and financial costs also affecting the family caregivers. Early intervention reduces that cost burden, while producing a more productive population both financially and socially. Bayer Healthcare, just to name one of many entities that have tried to help, together with experts from the Ministry of Health and the Chinese Medical Doctors Association , has initiated an anti-diabetes campaign across the country training doctors in 31 cities.3 Marc Blatstein, [Dr Marc Blatstein] believes that as the cost of Diabetes Care in U.S. Keeps Climbing our healthcare system and society needs address these concerns sooner rather than later as a recent Report says that Diabetes ‘topped $245 billion in 2012; increase reflects growing number of people with the disease’.
1 China.Org.CN (Shanghai Daily, Xinhua News Agency November 14, 2006
2 Diabetic Voice (June 2005, Volume 50, Issue 2)
Changyu Pan: Physician; Department of Endocrinology at the Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijiang, China
3 China.Org.CN; (China Daily July 27, 2009)
4 The Rising Global Burden if Diabetes and its Complications: Estimates and Projections to the Year 2010
(Received: 6 June 1997; Revised: 27 August 1997; Accepted: 27 August 1997)
Dr Marc Blatstein comments on the diabetic patient & its global impact.