Trinidadians not taking precautions with diabetes
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Wednesday March 14, 2012 – Diabetics in the twin-island state are not taking care of their health.
According to a recently released study on diabetes care in Trinidad and Tobago, diabetics were not taking care of their eyes and feet or having the necessary checks done on a regular basis.
And director of the Diabetes Outreach Programme with the Health Sciences Initiatives, Dr. Paul Ladenson is warning that complications such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, amputations and end-stage renal disease, could result if diabetics do not take care of their bodies.
According to the study, only two thirds of diabetics visited a doctor or nurse regularly for care of their condition, 28 per cent visit an optician, and a mere nine percent receive a foot exam over a one year period.
The survey also showed that heart disease was one of the more commonly reported complications of diabetes, with 24 per cent of those participating in the survey admitting to having the disease.
During the survey that was conducted between June 2010 and March 2011 also revealed that seven per cent of those interviewed suffered a stroke, 13 per cent suffered foot ulcers and amputations, 13 per cent had damaged retinas, 51 per cent had high cholesterol, and a whopping 67 per cent suffered with hypertension.
Furthermore, five per cent of the 2, 124 people surveyed had kidney damage, and 41 per cent had nerve damage. Two thirds of the participants were also overweight or obese with poor metabolic control especially in women and children.
And, Dr. Ladenson, has made it clear that diabetes was the likely the leading cause of blindness and foot amputations in the twin-island state.
According to him, the country was facing an epidemic that could result in significant consequences if left unchecked.
Meanwhile, President of the Academy of Diabetes Clinicians of T&T, Dr. Claude Khan also expressed concerns over what he termed an explosion of diabetes in the country, and called for more resources for its primary care to avoid serious and life threatening complications.