Cost of treatment killing the country
At least one in 10 Kiwi adults will have type 2 diabetes within 20 years which could bankrupt the country, an expert said.
A Ministry of Health report, Diabetes Policy Model, reveals that 10 per cent of the adult population will have type 2 diabetes by 2028.
Diabetes New Zealand national president Chris Baty said that number was conservative as cases were exceeding projections and increasing by 8 per cent a year.
Costs associated with the disease could bankrupt the country if nothing was done to prevent people getting it.
Treating a diabetic in hospital with complications was four times more a day than a regular hospital bed. Diabetic patients often stayed longer, Ms Baty said. Diabetes complications include heart, gums and kidney disease. It is the leading cause of amputations and blindness in New Zealand.
Diabetes was ‘‘killing the country’’ due to the cost of treating patients and because when they were blind or missing a limb often they could no longer work.
There was also a small but ‘‘alarmingly growing’’ group of children developing the disease.
Up to two-thirds of cases were preventable if people made lifestyle changes by eating healthily and doing more exercise.
PricewaterhouseCoopers economist Suzanne Snively said 10 years ago the government spent 3 or 4 per cent of the health budget on diabetes treatment which would rise to 15 per cent by 2021 if trends continued.
She calculated that an extra $60million invested annually in prevention of type 2 diabetes would save up to $1billion a year in treatment costs from 2021 onwards.
Clinical endocrinologist and Fight the Obesity Epidemic spokeswoman Dr Robyn Toomath said a recent US study predicted that one-third of all American children born today would develop diabetes during their lives.
New Zealand also had rapidly rising obesity rates which were driving the trend.
‘‘A phenomenally high per centage of my adult patients have diabetes, ‘‘ she said.
‘‘It’s become so prevalent within the hospital inpatient population that it’s almost a given that if someone comes in over a certain age they will have type 2 diabetes as part of the package.’’ - The Press
GET TESTED: Pharmacies and medical practices in the South Waikato can carry out a simple test to measure blood sugar levels, an indicator of diabetes.