6 Jun 2012

SPC says diabetes on the rise in Pacific Region

1:36 pm on 6 June 2012

A diabetes advisor at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community says the prevalence of diabetes in the region and deaths as a result of the disease are rising.

In Fiji alone, the rate of diabetes-related amputations has almost doubled over the last five years.

An advisor for non-communicable diseases at the SPC, Jeanie McKenzie, says diabetes is on an increasing trend, with the highest death rates in the Marshall Islands, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau.

"Three hundred and sixty-three - this is per hundred thousand population and they're 25 years and over. That's for the Marshall Islands. So if you compare the Marshalls with Fiji, who had 265 deaths and Federated States of Micronesia, 170. That will be a record of what the death rate is for a one year period."

Jeanie McKenzie says the prevalence of diabetes is the highest in American Samoa where more than half of men and 43 percent of women are affected by the disease.