Press Release

Latest Update on Risk of Diabetes in Hong Kong and Introduction of An Innovative Solution to Fight the Silent Killer


Asia Diabetes Foundation Reports the Impacts of
An Innovative Solution to Monitor and Manage Diabetics

Asia Diabetes Foundation (ADF) today reports the results of using an innovative platform to enables people with diabetes to better manage their health and lifestyle.

At today’s press conference, Chief Executive Officer of ADF, Prof. Juliana Chan, explained the latest trend and statistics on diabetes in Hong Kong.

“Diabetes is considered a ‘silent killer’. Undiagnosed or suboptimally managed diabetes increases risk of death by 1.8 fold and reduces life expectancy by at least 6 years due to major complications including stroke, heart disease, kidney failure and cancer,” Prof. Juliana Chan said. “Despite the highly preventable nature of diabetes and its complications, majority of people are not aware, informed or prepared regarding the possible strategies to reduce these risks.”

According to the latest figures from China, 1 in 4 people in Mainland China has diabetes or prediabetes. Previous studies have indicated that at any one time, Chinese living in affluent societies such as Hong Kong had 50% higher risk for these silent conditions than Mainland Chinese. Based on these figures, it was estimated that 38% (2.7 million) of the Hong Kong population might have or at risk of having diabetes. Among the estimated 1 million people with diabetes, 0.65 million may not have been diagnosed. The remaining 1.63 million may have prediabetes which substantially increases the future risk for diabetes and heart disease.

“Approximately 1 in 4 people with diabetes develop serious complications in five years, if not properly managed,” Prof. Juliana Chan said. “Based on a diabetes registry of 7,000 patients followed up since 1995 by The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 12% developed heart disease or stroke; 7% end-stage renal diseases and 5% cancer.”

According to Dr Francis Chow, Head of Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Prince of Wales Hospital, attaining ABC targets is the key to successful diabetes management:
A - HbA1c (less than 7%);
B - Blood pressure (<130/80 mmHg);
C - low-density lipoprotein Cholesterol (<2.6 mmol/L).

“If people with diabetes can attain these targets, they can reduce the risks of developing heart and kidney disease by 50-60%,” Dr Chow said.

In 2007, ADF launched the Joint Asia Diabetes Evaluation (JADE) Program using an innovative information technology platform to promote structured and collaborative care which enables doctors, care professionals and people with diabetes to make informed decisions more effectively and efficiently.

The key features of the JADE Program include a validated risk engine, care protocol, treatment targets and decision support. This essential information is communicated in the form of easy-to-read charts and trends to empower doctors and people with diabetes to evaluate and monitor their risk factors for shared decision-making.
Using the JADE Program and through collaboration between general practitioners (GPs) and the nurse-led Yao Chung Kit Diabetes Assessment Centre, the rate of attainment of ABC targets amongst the JADE Program participants has improved by 70%.

At today’s press conference, two GPs and their patients (Mr Cheung and Mr Kwok) shared their experience of how joining the JADE Program under this collaborative care model has helped them reach ABC targets and improve self care.

Mr Cheung was diagnosed diabetes in 1999 with suboptimal control and high risk for complications. In 2007, Dr CC Tai joined the JADE Program and used a structured care approach to manage Mr. Cheung who underwent yearly comprehensive assessment at the YCK Centre. Through this collaborative care model, Mr. Cheung successfully changed his lifestyle and attained the ABC targets which will substantially reduce his future risk for complications.

“ These results and stories are very encouraging and we look forward to setting up partnerships with more GPs through the JADE Program to further improve diabetes care and reduce the societal impact of chronic disease”, Prof Juliana Chan said.

In the coming 12 months, ADF will seek partnerships with relevant stakeholders to establish collaboration networks in the community to raise awareness and improve diabetes care.

About Asia Diabetes Foundation (ADF)
The ADF is a charitable organization developed to initiate and implement medical, scientific and academic research activities to collect and translate current evidence into prevention and control strategies for diabetes and other chronic diseases.

ADF is dedicated to conducting pragmatic research using a multidisciplinary approach, augmented by the latest technologies, to promote informed decision making in order to enhance the sustainability, affordability and accessibility of chronic care.


About JADE
The JADE Program uses state-of-the-art information technology to create a virtual platform to facilitate both health care providers and people with diabetes to adhere to evidenced-based protocol for diabetes management, using a multidisciplinary approach.

The JADE Program incorporates a validated risk engine and care protocol with animation of future risks for complications and treatment targets using charts, diagrams and trend lines, further augmented by individualized practice tips to promote shared decision making and self management.

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2. Chan JC, Malik V, Jia W, et al. Diabetes in Asia: epidemiology, risk factors, and pathophysiology. JAMA 2009;301:2129-40.
3. Chan JC, So W, Ko G, et al. The Joint Asia Diabetes Evaluation (JADE) Program: a web-based program to translate evidence to clinical practice in Type 2 diabetes. Diabet Med 2009;26:693-9.
4. Chan JC, So W, Ma RC, Tong PC, Wong R, Yang X. The Complexity of Vascular and Non-Vascular Complications of Diabetes: The Hong Kong Diabetes Registry. Curr Cardiovasc Risk Rep;2011:5:230-9.
5. Ko GT, So WY, Tong PC, et al. From design to implementation--the Joint Asia Diabetes Evaluation (JADE) program: a descriptive report of an electronic web-based diabetes management program. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak 2010;10:26.