The concentration of diabetes around the world is firmly focused on several key hotspots. These include China, India and the USA. However, the problem is developing at alarming rates outside these countries, particularly for some ethnic groups. New evidence from New Zealand has revealed that the figures reporting diabetes-related deaths are understated. The real number of deaths is thought to be far higher, medical experts say.
One expert, a Professor of Medicine at Auckland University’s Waikato Clinical School, highlighted the loophole that led to figures being reported lower. He is reported as saying that the way in which deaths and hospitalisation are coded will not always display that the patient was ill or died from diabetes-related causes.
New Zealand, like the UK, Australia and numerous other countries, has witnessed a surge in diabetes cases over the last ten years, leaving healthcare systems reeling. The Professor, David Simmonds, believes that official 2001 figures for diabetes-related deaths in New Zealand could be as much as six times lower than actual figures.
He also called for action against diabetes, and highlighted the increasing levels of the disease amongst the Maori and Pacific islanders, as well as amongst East Asian and Indian people.

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