11% of population could have diabetes and not know it

MORE than one in 10 of the Irish population could have diabetes and not know it, a study suggests.

About 8,800 people in Dublin and Cork were involved in a screening project into the incidence of diabetes.

Of those screened, 11% tested positive for diabetes and pre-diabetes – a condition where a body’s cells are becoming insulin resistant and blood glucose levels are higher than they should be.

VHI Healthcare, which conducted the screening project, said the figures suggested that there could be 30,000 people aged 45-75 years with undiagnosed diabetes and 122,000 with pre-diabetes.

Since the project got under way 18 months ago new, undiagnosed, diabetes was confirmed in more than 190 (2.2%) participants, with pre-diabetes found in more than 770 (8.8%) individuals.

The findings were presented yesterday at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study for Diabetes.

VHI medical director Dr Bernadette Carr said the incidence of diabetes and pre-diabetes among the general public was significantly higher than they had anticipated.

Dr Carr urged people to make simple changes to their lifestyles in order to stay healthy and well: “We are strongly urging everyone to make the time to take the right kind of exercise and to inform themselves better on nutritional issues.”

Meanwhile, one of the scientists at Trinity College Dublin, who discovered what triggers type 2 diabetes believes a cure for the disease could be available in two to three years.

Prof Luke O’Neill, who heads the group at TCD, said that, up to now, no one knew why the body stopped responding to insulin.

“We have found what might be the ‘straw that breaks the camel’s back’ in type 2 diabetes,” he said.

His team have found that a peptide hormone, Amyloid Polypeptide (IAPP) that is deposited in the pancreas leads to the development of Type 2 diabetes.

Speaking on RTÉ yesterday, Prof O’Neill said there were drugs being developed to cure the condition.


Lifestyle

Aileen Lee meets Christina Kenny - co-founder and design director of Lamb Design - to talk about her work and inspirations.Christina Kenny of Lamb Design: ‘I love bringing the outside in and inside out’

Tyrone designer Sharon Wauchob on her career and the worth of luxury fastion. By Paul McLachen.From Marc Jacobs to her own label, Tyrone designer Sharon Wauchob on her life in fashion

The recent sentencing of two teenage boys for the murder of Ana Kriégel has once again brought the issue of pornography into public discourse. The details of the case, which are finally coming into public knowledge, illuminate some very worrying trends that are pervasive in the modern adolescent world and as parents and indeed as a society we can no longer languish in complacency.Learning Points: Hardcore porn can pollute our children’s minds

If children are confident in interacting with others it takes away so much stress and social anxiety for them. Not too long ago, my daughter Joan and I were out with friends at a restaurant and we wanted extra water and a few other bits and Joan volunteered to go up and ask the waiter for them. My friend was really surprised at this and said that none of her children would willingly do that.Mum’s the word: We should look for chances to strengthen our kids’ social skills

More From The Irish Examiner