06.04.2005 Regional News

High-risk diabetes in women is associated with obesity

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Sunyani, April 6, GNA - Dr. Mercedes Arrieta Zulueta, a Cuban General Integral Physician at the Regional Hospital in Sunyani has said obesity is associated with high-risk diabetes among women in the country.

She said studies had shown that women, who have gestational diabetes, are at an increased risk of developing non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellites (NIDDM) as nearly 40 per cent of those with a history of gestational diabetes later develop the disease.

Dr. Zulueta was among the nine Cuban doctors, who presented their scientific research on various diseases in Brong Ahafo to the Sunyani Municipal Directorate of Health Services on Tuesday.

Among the diseases the doctors presented in their findings were malaria, infertility, diabetes, ulcer and guinea worm infection. She said persons with NIDDM, which is the type two of the diabetes, do not have symptoms and do not know they have the disease.

"Family history of diabetes, old age, impaired glucose tolerance, physical activity, obesity, prior history of gestational diabetes and race are some of the risk factors", Dr Zulueta added.

She said 22 out of the 35 cases studied on epidemiological and clinical factors in diabetes patients at Kintampo in the region from November last year to January this year were females and 13 males. Dr Zulueta stressed that 41-50 age group had the peak incidence for females and from 51 to 60 age group for males.

The Cuban doctor stated that the most important symptoms in her findings from the patients included numbness of limbs, weakness and thirst.

She recommended that health education about diabetes must be intensive and advised persons, who think they might have the disease to visit a physician for diagnosis.

Dr Zulueta noted that there had been a massive increase in the number of people diagnosed with diabetes worldwide for the past two decades.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that, there were 135 million diabetes in 1995 and the number could increase to 300 million by the year 2025, she added.

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