<span>Diabetes, obesity, hypertension 'on the rise' </span><span>in the Caribbean</span>

Diabetes, obesity, hypertension 'on the rise' in the Caribbean

Friday, May 18, 2012

Print this page Email A Friend!



UNITED NATIONS, May 17, CMC – The number of Caribbean people with high blood pressure and diabetes is drastically increasing as elswhere in both developed and developing countries, a United Nations report has said.

“This report is further evidence of the dramatic increase in the conditions that trigger heart disease and other chronic illnesses, particularly in low- and middle-income countries,” said the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Margaret Chan.

WHO’s World Health Statistics 2012 report, which includes data from 194 countries, said that one in three adults worldwide has raised blood pressure and one in 10 suffers from diabetes.

The global average prevalence of diabetes is around 10 per cent, with up to one in three people in some Pacific Island countries having this condition, the report said. Left untreated, diabetes can lead to cardiovascular disease, blindness, amputation of limbs and kidney failure.

An increase in obesity is also highlighted in the report as being a major health risk.

“In every region of the world, obesity doubled between 1980 and 2008,” said the Director of the Department of Health Statistics and Information Systems at WHO, Ties Boerma. “Today, half a billion people – 12 per cent of the world’s population – are considered obese.”

The highest obesity levels are in the Americas, with 26 per cent of adults suffering from obesity, and the lowest in the South-East Asian region, where only three per cent of the population is obese, the report says.

It says in all parts of the world, women are more likely to be obese than men, making them more vulnerable to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

In high-income countries, widespread diagnosis and treatment with low-cost medication have reduced mean blood pressure across populations, leading in turn to a reduction in deaths from heart disease, the report said.

But in Africa, more than 40 per cent of adults in many countries are estimated to have high blood pressure – most of them remain undiagnosed, even though many of these cases could be treated with low-cost medications, which would significantly reduce the risk of death, the report said.

According to WHO, non-communicable diseases currently cause almost two thirds of all deaths worldwide.

Concern about the rise in the numbers of deaths from heart and lung disease, diabetes and cancer prompted the UN to hold a high-level meeting on non-communicable diseases in New York in September last year, spearheaded by Caribbean Community (CARICOM) states.

The World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of WHO, is expected next week to review progress made since that meeting and agree on next steps, the UN said.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaper-login


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT