The number of people with diabetes in the Americas has more than tripled in three decades according to a recent report from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
The PAHO report, ‘Panorama of Diabetes in the Americas,’ adds that growing rates of obesity, poor diets, and lack of physical activity, among other factors, have contributed to a more than three-fold increase in the number of adults living with diabetes in the Americas in the past 30 years.
Monday, November 14 is World Diabetes Day (WDD) and is being observed around the globe to raise awareness.
The Diabetes Foundation of St. Maarten (DFS) is hosting a lecture on diabetes where a number of speakers will share information about diabetic foot care and diabetes and depression.
Guests’ speakers will be Dr. Grace Spencer, Dr. Liam Stoeldraasijers, Podiatrist and Dr. Natalie Humphrey, Assistant Dean of Community Engagement at the American University of the Caribbean.
The lecture will take place on Monday, November 14 at Carl’s & Sons Inn Conference Hall, Cole Bay from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Free health screening will be offered on site.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.
Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Hyperglycemia, or raised blood sugar, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and over time leads to serious damage to many of the body's systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels, which can lead to heart attack, blindness, kidney failure and lower limb amputation.
The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, would like the community to know that diabetes can be prevented and controlled, and invites members of the community to attend the lecture on Monday evening.
The report says at least 62 million people live with diabetes in the Americas, a number which is expected to be much higher given that around 40% of those with the disease are unaware they
have the condition. If current trends continue, the number of people with diabetes in the region is projected to reach 109 million by 2040.
The increase in cases of diabetes over three decades is linked to an increase in risk factors – Two-thirds of adults in the Americas are overweight or obese, and only 60% get enough exercise.
The report also points to an alarming trend among young people in the region: over 30% are now considered to be obese or overweight – almost double the global average.
For more information about diabetes, consult your general practitioner.