Diabetes among leading causes of death in Dominica

diabetesDiabetes is among the leading causes of death on the island.

This was revealed by health officials as they met to conduct a workshop on caring for the Diabetic Foot recently

Public Health Specialist, Trudy Christian, in presenting an analysis of diabetes in Dominica revealed that between 2005 and 2009, diabetes was the second leading cause of death on the island.

A more recent analysis- from 2010 to 2014 -revealed that while the disease remains among the top causes, more females were affected by the disease during that period. The rate of amputation is, however, higher among men for the same period.

According to Christian, statistics show that amputations are done mostly on persons over seventy. However, data is revealing some changes in this trend.

“Interesting to note,” she says, “that there are amputations in younger age groups and that is of concern to us. We have been seeing quiet a number of amputations in the 45-54 age group, more than we would like to see. Amputations are occurring in the younger population.”

Christian says that data is generally captured at the district level, however due to some challenges; the real situation with the disease is not fully reflected in the data.

And as for a way forward, Christian emphasizes that prevention is the cure.

“The complications should be prevented, we need early and effective management of these complications and [we need to] pay closer attention to the data. As health professionals, we should consistently look at trends and see what we can do to counteract some of the trends which we’re seeing,” she said.

Diabetes is a chronic lifelong condition that affects the body’s ability to use the energy found in food.

There are three major types of diabetes: Type I, Type II and gestational diabetes.

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17 Comments

  1. Reader
    April 21, 2015

    It would be great to see this report and have a read. Is this report published on Min. Health website yet?

  2. April 21, 2015

    Eat none chemical processed foods …like vegetables and our other home grown foods ,make local juices ,,eat less salt ,stop the kfc and mcdo foods and juices ,,i know that we seem to have less time to do things now ,but we must take a litttle time for every thing…nonetheless advisers cannot walk after each and every one…eat less especially when you are suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes..

  3. anonymous2
    April 21, 2015

    Just look at the sugar consumption. It is a dead give away.

  4. The Facts
    April 21, 2015

    Precaution is better than cure. This means prevention. The district health nurse will have to escalate health education on diabetes.. The youths should also be informed at an early age. Some people use too much salt and sugar. How about honey? It is strengthening but then again, never use too much of it.
    Some people think they must eat a lot to be well-fed and satisfied. Eating in moderation, also fruits and vegetables will help. We are told to avoid processed foods. Eat fresh fish daily or at least twice a week. No fatty foods. Drink milk.
    When you purchase chicken, skin it to also take off the fat unless you are roasting it. This should eliminate the fat. There could be more fat in them than meat.
    Water and citrus as lime, lemon, orange and grapefruit are necessary. I have heard those who are on medication may not be able to eat grapefruit. Nevertheless, eat the citrus fruits and other fruits which will help build your immune system and keep you healthy.

  5. silversliver
    April 21, 2015

    This is a serious indictment of Primary and secondary health care in Dominica. This says that diabetes is poorly managed. In addition to the number of foot ulcers and ampurations, the number of patients on dialysis due to renal failure, adds to the gravity of the situation. The most important aspect of diabetic care is the prevention of the development of these complications, and the results are telling! The importance of this is not only in the quality of life of the individuals affected, but also in the great economic costs of the complications to the government and community.

  6. Francisco Telemaque
    April 20, 2015

    I do not wish to appear as an authority on the subject, nevertheless after I read the comments of some contributors, I found it necessary to present a brief etiology. There are at least four sets of factors that influence the development of diabetes mellitus: genetic factors, heredity, autoimmunity, and environmental factors.

    Type l diabetes is associated with HLA antigens, which cause a defect in the immune system resulting in antibodies destructive to beta cells. Heredity on the other hand is a factor in both Type l and Type ll. There is a strong autoimmune component in Type l. Viral infections are environmental factors that play a role in Type l. It is believed that obesity and advance age are strong environmental factors in Type ll. That I do not believe since I personally has never been an obese person. I was diagnosed Type ll; nevertheless, I am sure that heredity is my cause.

    Sorry, I cannot continue, DNO set it up so that we are limited to what we can write at one time.

  7. udony
    April 20, 2015

    Test should be done as part of one’s physical, which is a yearly thing
    There is another issue people in Dominica believe that bush tea can cure diabetes.

  8. grell
    April 20, 2015

    Leading cause of this disease,processed foods and juices and our people consume 90% of this daily.kfc is not gppd people.Sodas are bad for your body also.

    • Francisco Telemaque
      April 20, 2015

      That is not true, one can eat actually anything they wish it will not cause diabetes; however, if someone is predestine to be affected by the disease there is no amount of precaution one can take to evade the inevitable.

      The major cause of diabetes is “heredity” that is an inherited a damage gene, and once one has the disease there is no cure, and the reason there is no cure at the moment is that medical science has not yet found a way to repair such damage genes. The disease can be controlled, nevertheless, it is a progressive disease, the older one becomes it is the harder it becomes to control.

      Say Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque told you!

  9. Away
    April 20, 2015

    Prevention is better than cure. So I who say it is early PREVENTION of the disease is vital. Too many of us believe in: is not what that go into our mouths that affect us. As long as we continue to eat the way we do then there can be other out in to our health. While we are young we don’t see any direct relation with what we eat and sickness, so most of the time when we are spoken to we almost always say we must die you know whether is of old age or not.
    Stop eating all those processed and junk foods(poisons) and start eating wholesome foods. It is not everything that the supermarket owner places on the shelves we must buy. Stop give the little one all processed cereals. What has happened to some good warm oats for breakfast? If we could stop just drinking everything the US and Caribbean manufacturers put in a bottle and start really appreciating what our Creator has placed in nature’s bottle for us to drink. It’s called WATER. But no we must be like the other nations around us.

    • Born Dominican
      April 20, 2015

      I live in St, Croix and have never eaten Kentucky, It hurt my heart to see Dominicans consuming Kentucky uncooked chicken. I remembers those days we used to roast kyee and drink the water with a little oil and chive. when I told my coworkers we Dominicans drink water while we shower, they look at me like I am crazy. Dominicans it is high time to stay away from Americas poison food and enjoy the natural stuff we have and grow.

  10. truth
    April 20, 2015

    Early detection of the disease is vital, haemoglobin AIC should be done for clients at risk from age 35 years and all obese clients. The test should be made at a cheap rate or free for proper management . This test is vital for early management. Our lifestyle in food selection is important, exercise , walking too. This disease can be prevented and manage properly.

    • Francisco Telemaque
      April 20, 2015

      ” haemoglobin AIC”

      Actually that should be “hemoglobin A1c: hemoglobin A with a glucose moiety attached to the amino terminal valine of the beta chain. This type of hemoglobin is made at a slow constant rate during the 120-day life span of the erythrocyte. it accounts for 3 to 6 percent of the total hemoglobin in a normal person, and up to 12% in a person with diabetes mellitus.

      Increased levels of hemoglobin A1c correlate with glucose intolerance in diabetes; with good glucose control, the hemoglobin A1c level returns to normal range. Periodic A1c assays can be helpful in evaluating effective control after one is diagnosed with diabetes mellitus.

      The idea of checking hemoglobin from age 35, is nonsense since some of us a born with diabetes. I was born a diabetic!

      • Francisco Telemaque
        April 20, 2015

        Here is an expansion on my previous submission: in general hemoglobin (Hb) is an allosteric protein found in erythrocytes that transports molecular oxygen (O2) in the blood. Each hemoglobin molecule is a tetramer composed of four monomers held together by weak bonds.

        Each monomer consists of a polypeptide chain (apoprotein) and a prosthetic group, which is a porphyrin ring that binds an atom in the 2 oxidation state. The prosthetic group is referred to as heme, and the apoprotein as globin.

        Here is the Chemistry And Physiology: The iron atom has a free valence, and can bind one molecule of oxygen; thus, each hemoglobin molecule can bind four atoms of oxygen.The tetramer exhibits positive cooperativity; the binding of oxygen by one monomer increases the affinity for oxygen of the other tetramers; this makes hemoglobin a more efficient transport protein than a monomeric protein such as myoglobin.

        Oxygenated hemoglobin (oxyhemoglobin) is darker. This accounts for the bright…

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      • Francisco Telemaque
        April 20, 2015

        Oxygenated hemoglobin (oxyhemoglobin) is darker. This accounts for the bright red color of arterial blood, in which the hemoglobin is about 97% saturated with oxygen; venous blood is darker because it is only about 20 to 70 percent saturated, depending on how much oxygen is used by the tissues. The affinity of hemoblin for carbon monooxide is 210 times as strong as its affinity for oxygen; the complex formed (carboxyhemoglobin) cannot transport oxygen; hence, carbon monoxide poisoning results in hypoxia, and asphyxiation.

        Now concerning the article, the reason there are so much death and amputation due to diabetes in Dominica, is because people ignore the symptoms of the disease, and do not get medical attention, treatment, and in lots of cases these Cuban doctors do know what they are doing hence they missed diagnosed people, by the time the patients are properly diagnosed, the disease already done so much damage even treatment with insulin cannot help.

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    • jam
      April 20, 2015

      It’s not just processed foods and kfc . Dominicans comsume way too many carbohydrates . A typical plate of local food in Dominca consist of rice beans or lentils,, macaroni with a little piece of fish or chicken and a tablespoon of shredded cabbage with a glass of over sweetened local juice is a very unhealthy meal and a diabetic’s nightmare. The typical Dominican meal need to be changed which is going to be difficult as food is part of Dominica’s culture. Now that most Dominicans are nolonger working in farms and drive or take a bus to work they are not burning off all the excess carbohydrates and are now more prone to getting diabetes. Dominicans will need to start growing and eating vegetables other than provisions like leafy greens, local spinach, turnip greens, cabbage greens, broccoli, collard greens and eat less provisions. It is right now difficult to find healthy choices when eating in Dominica so it is going to be difficult to change their diet

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