The number of diabetic patients is growing in Vietnam at an average rate of about 8-10 percent a year, one of the highest in the world, according to the Central Endocrine Hospital .

In its latest report on the disease, the hospital said about 4 percent of the country’s population have diabetes and nearly 10 percent of the people are at a high risk of developing the disease.

Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thi Xuyen warned that lifestyle changes, less physical activity, unhealthy eating and poor awareness on prevention of the disease are causing the rise in the prevalence of diabetes in Vietnam .

As the disease costs its victims dear, the Health Ministry has asked the Prime Minister to supplement funding for the national anti-diabetes target programme in the 2011-2015 period to promote preventive measures widely to reduce new cases of diabetes as well as the disease complications.

According to experts, diabetes cannot be cured yet, however, 80 percent of type 2 diabetes cases can change the course of the disease with a healthy diet and more exercise.

Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure and non-traumatic lower limb amputations./.