Obesity, physical inactivity put women at excess risk of diabetes

Diabetes: a blood glucose test is used to check the level of sugar in the blood of this woman. Photo: WHO/PAHO/Sebastián Oliel
Diabetes: a blood glucose test is used to check the level of sugar in the blood of this woman. Photo: WHO/PAHO/Sebastián Oliel

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. 17 November 2017.   Diabetes, a major contributor to premature death, is estimated to affect 10-15% of the adult population in the Caribbean Region. The disease is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack and stroke and responsible for high rates of complications, such as lower limb amputation.

The risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes are obesity (Body Mass Index (BMI) ≥30), abdominal obesity, physical inactivity, tobacco smoking, unhealthy diets and metabolic syndrome. Obesity is the strongest modifiable risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes in the Caribbean.

CARPHA Director for Surveillance, Prevention and Control Dr. Virginia Asin-Oostburg has said, “Studies have revealed that women in the Caribbean have higher rates of obesity in terms of BMIs compared to men.  They also have higher rates of abdominal obesity, and likely to be 3 times more obese than men.” She also stated that, “Obesity and physical inactivity put women at excess risk of diabetes. This is confirmed by the very high levels of diabetes among women in the Region.”  (more…)