Ireland faces diabetes crisis

Thu, 19 Jan 2006
A team of diabetes experts have warned the Irish Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children that Ireland is currently facing a diabetes crisis. The group of experts highlighted the decreasing age of type 2 diabetics, the spiralling levels of obesity feeding the problem, and the poor specialist services spread across the country. The government itself was called upon to urgently develop a cohesive strategy to deal with the problem.

Although numbers of diabetics in Ireland appear relatively small (an estimated 250,000 have diabetes with 100,000 undiagnosed), the problem is growing. The Chairperson of the Diabetes Federation, Dr O’Sullivan, made the Committee aware of the importance of recognising pre-diabetes as a condition and ensuring adequate preventative measures are taken. Many pre-diabetes cases may have the condition averted by exercise, diet and weight loss. Dr O’Sullivan’s message was aimed at providing educational information to the board about the complex nature of managing diabetes in the modern world.

He also elaborated on the complications inherent in long-term diabetes sufferers such as heart disease, foot problems, retinopathy, neuropathy and high blood pressure. Furthermore, O’Sullivan claimed that GP care in Ireland was unstructured, and that pressure on hospitals was growing. A four-point plan was proposed to counteract the problem in Ireland.
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