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DIABETES

Diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose (or blood sugar), which leads over time to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves. The most common is type 2 diabetes, usually in adults, which occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn't make enough insulin. In the past three decades the prevalence of type 2 diabetes has risen dramatically in countries of all income levels. Type 1 diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin by itself. For people living with diabetes, access to affordable treatment, including insulin, is critical to their survival. There is a globally agreed target to halt the rise in diabetes and obesity by 2025. (World Health Organization)

 

In Trinidad and Tobago:

 

  • T&T ranks among the countries with the most prevalent and fastest growing cases.

  • The prevalence of diabetes is 14.5 %, with about 88 90% of patients having Type 2

  • There are approx. 39,400 undiagnosed cases.

  • There is a high rate of complications such as foot infections and amputations and diabetic retinopathy leading to such conditions as adult blindness

  • Gestational diabetes (GDM) complicates 1 in 5 pregnancies in T&T annually and increases the morbidity and mortality for both mother and child.