"Ninety percent of diabetes in Indonesia is classified under Category II, meaning it is caused by hereditary factors, Persadias (Indonesia Diabetes Association) chairman Prof Sidartawan Soedondo said here on Saturday on the sidelines of the "Global Diabetes Forum".
He noted that children, teenagers and young adults were susceptible to Category II diabetes. "Diabetes suffered by the youth is mostly caused by unhealthy lifestyles," he added.
Sidartawan noted that unhealthy lifestyles could cause becoming overweight, which often contributes to diabetes.
"Other factors triggering diabetes are urbanization and lack of physical activities," he said.
Sidartawan estimated that 5.7 percent of the countrys population suffered from diabetes.
"Symptoms of diabetes are not seen and the disease will only be detected after it has become chronic," he said.
Even based upon his research, 70 percent of the countrys population is not aware that they suffer from diabetes, he added.
He considered the spread of the disease in the country to be a matter of concern because people usually seek treatment only after their disease has become chronic.
To detect the risk factors, he said people must check early and periodically so that the prevalence for diabetes could be curbed.
"Once one suffers from diabetes, his or her suffering might be lifelong," he said.
(Reporting by I Made Surya/Uu.H-YH/INE/KR-BSR/B003)