Diabetes 'could become epidemic' in Guernsey

Type 2 diabetes could reach epidemic proportions in Guernsey if lifestyle changes are not made, the Health and Social Services Department said.

More than 2,400 people in the island had type 2 diabetes in 2009, but 10 to 20 new referrals were now being made every month, it said.

Diabetes nurse Anne Kinch said she was worried by the trends they were seeing.

She said weight gain, a major cause of diabetes, was being seen at an increasingly young age.

Heart disease

Ms Kinch said: "Any action now is going to pay dividends for the future.

"The worry really with adults who carry weight round the middle is what I hear so many times - 'but I've always been this big'.

"And of course when you carry that sort of weight around when you're a teenager the body copes with it reasonably well, but as you get towards your 40s it doesn't," she said.

"In Guernsey at the moment we haven't any children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, but there are some fairly hefty children out there."

She said people with diabetes were more likely to develop coronary heart disease and there were associated blood pressure and cholesterol problems.

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