(ZIZ News) — Chief Medical Officer Dr. Patrick Martin says diabetes is a much bigger threat than zika.
His comments came as nations across the globe observe World Health Day on Thursday, with a specific focus on diabetes.
Dr. Martin said although zika has been getting a lot of attention in the media diabetes can bring complications that are far more dangerous.
“The complications of diabetes include glaucoma, which causes blindness, circulatory problems in your legs which can lead to gangrene and amputations. Also problems with your kidneys which can lead to kidney failure and dialysis or transplants. So diabetes is a very expensive disease. It becomes even more expensive if you have the complications. And health systems such as ours cannot afford the rising tide of complications,” he said.
Dr. Martin noted the significant increase in diabetes cases in the Federation compared to 30 years ago.
“Right now we have about 20 percent of our adults having diabetes and compared to 30 years ago when we had one or two, or even zero cases of diabetes in children, we now have 15 to 20,” he said.
Dr. Martin said the leading causes of death in the Federation are heart disease, stroke, cancer, and complications of diabetes which account for 2 out of 3 deaths.
He said these disorders have common risk factors such as high fat, high salt, high sugar diet, harmful use of alcohol, tobacco smoking and lack of exercise.