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Sunday 15 September 2019
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Doctor: Diabetes striking more children

WITH Type II diabetes affecting approximately 200,000 adults, or 14-15 per cent of the adult TT population, St George West county medical officer Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards has warned that the disease is now occurring more frequently in children.

Speaking at the launch of the Diabetes Association's three-day teen lifestyle camp at the Preysal Government Secondary School, she said as a practising family physician, she has come across several young children in the eight-nine age group who displayed signs of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. An additional 20 per cent of the population may be pre-diabetic, she warned. "These figures are of extreme concern to the government of TT and the Ministry of Health."

She said the ministry was increasingly seeing children who are obese with signs such as acanthosis nigricans. According to the WebMD website, this is a skin problem that results in the darkening and thickening of certain areas of the skin, especially in the skin folds.

“Most often the condition, which typically looks like small warts, appears on the sides or back of the neck, the armpits, under the breast, and groin. Acanthosis nigricans usually strikes people who are very overweight.

It usually precedes diabetes and is considered to be a marker for the disease.” Deputy permanent secretary Charmaine Jennings said World Health Organisation, (WHO) global statistics had identified diabetes as the seventh leading cause of death in TT in 2016.“

This data is deeply troubling. As such, the WHO has pledged to reduce premature mortality from non-communicable diseases, including diabetes, by one third as part of its 2030 agenda for sustainable development.”

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