Concern over increasing diabetes rates

New research, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, has highlighted the increasing prevalence of diabetes in New Zealand, and found that the numbers are likely to rise further in the future.

The University of Otago study, based on survey and blood sample data from the 2008/2009 NZ Adult Nutrition Survey, estimated that 7% of the population currently suffer from diabetes – much higher than most previous studies have indicated. The study also found 18% of New Zealanders in the study had pre-diabetes, a glucose metabolism disorder that can lead to type two diabetes.

Worryingly, the study noted that 1.8% of New Zealanders in the study suffered from diabetes, based on blood samples provided, but had not been diagnosed.

“The implications of increased diabetes-related morbidity, mortality and health care costs are considerable,” said one of the studies authors, Dr Kirsten Coppell.

“Implementation of effective evidence based diabetes prevention strategies is urgently required to reduce the increasing costs of the diabetes epidemic.”

The research has received extensive national media attention. Examples include:
Yahoo! New Zealand: Fears diabetes health figures could worsen
TVNZ News: Diabetes epidemic could cost $1 billion, experts say Otago Research Finds One In Five Have Pre Diabetes
Otago Daily Times: ‘Patch protection’ in diabetes advice
Nelson Mail: Editorial – This Big Problem Could Use a Pick-and-Mix
3 News: NZ faces wave of diabetes – study
NZ Herald : Pre-diabetes numbers ‘alarming’
Otago Daily Times: 18% of adults have pre-diabetes: study
Radio New Zealand:  Survey warns of diabetes epidemic