Diabetes and hypertension leading causes of death in Dominica

National Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Ricketts. Photo credit: GIS

A review of the 2009 mortality data in Dominica has revealed that diabetes and hypertension are among the top ten leading causes of death in Dominica.

This was confirmed by National Epidemiologist, Dr. Paul Ricketts.

Dr. Ricketts was at the time delivering a presentation at the launch of a national hypertension and diabetes management manual launched by the Ministry of Health last week.

“This is very significant for us and if we look at it by gender, you can see that again that diabetes and hypertension are in the top five causes of death whether you are a male or female, perhaps more so significant for females. If we look at the last five years that we have data for, when we aggregate this, you will see that diabetes, in fact, is a major player in terms of the underlined cause of death coming in at number two as well as hypertension. They’re both in the top five causes of death in our country,” he said.

Dr. Ricketts said that this is a problem which requires urgent attention.

The Ministry of Health has developed a plan of action and has responded to this trend by producing an updated reference manual which will be used by health professionals in dealing with patients with hypertension and diabetes.

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16 Comments

  1. Dr. Agathine Scotland
    April 21, 2015

    In 2012, I conducted a study in Dominica on “Health Beliefs and Knowledge Related to Management of Hypertension among Adult Dominicans.” My study found that more women( 79.9%) than men (20.1%) attended health centers and clinics to check their blood pressures, that Dominicans had knowledge about (hypertension) high blood pressure and the need for medications in the control of high blood pressure; they were also aware that they ate too much salt (92.8%) and that exercise could help control hypertension although they were not clear on how much exercise was needed. I concluded that we need an education program that makes dietary management and exercise in the control of hypertension more appealing and not so stressful.

  2. Da man in Md
    April 1, 2011

    First, let us define both diseases, then speak about the reasons why they are on top of the list, and things which can be done to prevent us from getting them. Hypertension, which is also called high blood pressure is caused by life style such as eating too much fat in our diet, smoking, taking in too much salt or having diabetes. However, research has shown that only 20% of Hypertension cases are caused due to life style. The other 80% is generic.This means that if one of our parents had the disease, especially the mother, there is a great likelihood that we may inherit the disease. Therefore, the best way to attack the killer is through education and regular check up to the doctor. Eating a diet rich in fiber, and eating fruits and vegetables will surely help, but medication should always be complimented with healthy eating. Cutting back on salt, loosing weight, quitting smoking, stop drinking and exercising are good and healthy habits which can keep our blood pressure under control. Most people with high blood pressure are at risk for a heart attack. I think that we need to promote healthy living, through life styles and education. The ministry of health should develop a plan whereby, nutritionist and doctors should be available to educate people through schools, media forums and through literature. I am 46 years old, exercise at least 4 times per week, eat healthy, but 6 months ago, at one of my yearly check up, i found out that I have high blood pressure. I was stunned. I was placed on medication. Both my parents had the disorder.
    Diabetes, is a little different, because our life style plays a major role in we getting the disease. The foods we eat, especially fat will contribute to its onset. Diabetes occurs when our body is unable to process the sugar we get from food. As a result, it remains in our blood an caused harm to all organs in the body. This is what prevents the sugar from being processed properly. Too much fat in the cells. There is an organ in the body called the pancreas which secretes a hormone called insulin. The main function of the insulin is to open up the cells membrane so that the glucose can enter the cell where it can be converted to energy. However, due to the fact that the cells pores are blocked by fat it cant enter, and therefore, remains in the blood. Diabetes is one of the worst diseases to have because it affects every organ in your body. The best way to prevent the disease is to eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, cut down on animal fat and dairy products.Also, exercise regularly, because when you do this the body will burn the excess calories which you get from food and not store it as fat in your cells. Recommendation: change life styles, eat healthy, exercise regular, regular check ups and education.

  3. just saying
    March 30, 2011

    We can reverse this thing if we would be more conscious of our health and our diet.

  4. senjoe
    March 30, 2011

    most people think of diabetes & hypertension as an inherited disease.Indeed, genes do play a role .still, yur risk ot gettin diabetes depends more on how u live than on who yur parents are. That means diabetes is a preventable disease.And even if u already have diabetes, the combination of good personal and medical care can prevert many of the complications that make diabetes the 5th leading cause of death in dominica.screening & diagnosis very important.

  5. RIDICULOUS!
    March 30, 2011

    Well first, we need our agricultural sector to be revived so they can produce enough to feed the country. Next we have to revert to our previous methods of cooking. All processed foods have some salt and sometimes sugar. Because they are processed and refined the body absorbs them much easier. To compound the problem, nobody walks anymore. Every other person has a car and the rest take the bus. Just bring your memory back to the time when we walked to school. Even children as far as Fond Cole would walk to school in Roseau. Now, Goodwill children take a bus. Our parents laboured in the garden. They burned off any excess sugar or salt. The difference now is that when we eat the junk we do not exercise to burn it off. The result; hypertension and diabetes.

    The other piece of the puzzle is for health professionals. Most people have diabetes for 5 to 6 years before they are officially diagnosed. I think when screenings are done, people have to be put on alert early to prevent the disease from progressing. The blood sugar is 150 it is already too high. Do not wait to see 300 to tell a person they are diabetic. If the blood pressure and weight are up, let the person know. Most of these diseases can be stopped in their tracks but people need to know. Lifestyle changes are a must. Then we can be a healthier nation. Otherwise, the statistics are not good.

    • TheGuy
      March 30, 2011

      Listen here, you can tell people they’re blood sugar is too high, MOST will not change. Does a fat man not know he is fat, but still stuffs his face?

      These things need to be stressed in the education system from you, and in the house hold. Parents need to take more control or take note of what they’re children eat. I’m very health why? Because my parents taught me from young the importance of what i ate.

  6. Zenfan Morchoroh
    March 30, 2011

    Fellow citizens lets all pause for a while and ask ourselves a few questions about our lifestyles. We have enough natural foods in Dominica our meals doesn’t have to be based on what our powerful neighbour eat. What happen to all our locally grown animals? Do you know all the imported foods including meats and canned foods are loaded with salt(sodium) and preservatives? By the way this salt is made in a factory ,it’s not found naturally in nature. It’s not sea salt.Why should we eat meats that are poisoned( to make them stay red) ? PLEASE google carbonmonoxide, sodiumbenzoate and you’ii see.

  7. belbagay
    March 30, 2011

    i remember when the labour party of the seventies promoted the slogan of grow what we eat and eat what we grow, the mulattos of this country opposed it and alligned that slogan to that of socialism and we wanted to follow Burnham then president of guyana, today Dr. Ricketts revelation is a clear sign that the labour then under Patrick John was on the right track, with the signs of agriculture on the down ward trend we need to re think of our eating patterns, we got all what it takes, what we are neglecting in DA is being sold for loads of money in the metropolitan countries.

  8. negre marwon
    March 30, 2011

    We are blessed to be living in a country where all our dietary needs are at our finger tips in a wholesome and natural state.Fresh fish, organically grown fruits and vegetables, ground provisions
    free range chicken, pork,beef, goat, manicou and agouti free of preservatives and hormones.

    But instead we are allowing these Junk food establishments to pollute our bodies with this poisonous
    imported foods which causing havoc to our health and our well being.
    Plantation people do like the maroons.Grow what you eat and eat what you grow.

  9. Miss Marigot
    March 30, 2011

    When I vited Dominica, I was amazed at the people that is over weight in. It did not use to be so. I notices a lot of fried food being sold. we need to go back to the way is was stop doing what the other countries do. Eat more healthy, this information can be provided in schools as well as churches.

    • hey ya
      March 30, 2011

      miss marigot, seriously speaking…please do yourself a favor and ALWAYS proof read before submitting. There are too many errors in your statement, geez!

  10. worried dominican
    March 30, 2011

    mouth of the south you could not have said it better,my people the sazon that you all use in that pink packet is poison for the body,we have all the natural seasonings growing in dominica please use them,your fresh fish please steam do not fry,stay away from the sodas,less intake on alcohol,skin your chicken before cooking,avoid the can foods and the macaronni and cheese,take thes steps and we will see a drastic change in diabetes,also exercise daily.

  11. Always Concerned
    March 30, 2011

    It would be nice if a public discussion highlighting ways that one can prevent these illnesses was conducted. I think our diets and lifestyles in general would improve if there were daily reminders on Radio, TV and even the internet, telling us what we can do to prevent illnesses.

    Our Pressure just Up, Up, Up and we need to bring it down!!! stupesss!!

  12. mouth of the south
    March 30, 2011

    my people exercise more and ban them goya n sazon u all use,,,, salt self just not good,,, u don’t to have hypertension to stop using salt,,,, stop using it while u healthy so u won’t have to worry bout it,,, i think the stores must start sellin seasoning made for peeps with hypertension,,,,, but i afraid it may sell for $10 or more since in the u.s it’s u.s $3,,,, stop all that junk eating,,, please remove the fat from chicken when preparing and eat red meat moderately,,,, if u use salt then two pinches should be alright,,, no need to pour 1/4 of the salt shaker into ur food papamet,,,,, we will kill ourselves wii pal,,,, i have seen what hypertension can do first hand and i respect mr man,,,, i use to think that was old people problem when i use to see them going to health center,,,, dem old ladies there early morning saying “mweh nee pressure wah” i used to think that is nothing,,,, it’s very serious but seems to get worse within the younger generation since we eat more unhealthy and do less exercise

    • Anti-hate
      March 30, 2011

      Good advice MOTS

      This should be a wake-up call especially to the many out of shape young women…..start jogging or something it could save y’all lives

    • Da to D Bone
      March 30, 2011

      what about all these homorne induced KFC foods we consuming?

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