Diabetes, a time bomb

Prevention is the best way to fight diabetes, and the fight against overweight and obesity becomes a key factor

Diabetes, a time bomb
Diabetes is present in Mexican genes - Photo: File Photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 14/11/2018 09:14 Mexico City Newspaper Leader Actualizada 09:17

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Few illnesses have such a quickly ascending spiral as diabetes. Officials numbers placed it, at the beginning of the century, as the 9th cause of death among Mexicans. In 2012, it climbed to the second place and in 2013, for the first time, it becomes the number one cause of death in Mexico. In 2016, it was placed at the second place once again, with 105,574 deaths, but the projections foresee an increase.

The cost of its treatment is high for the country. The Health Ministry estimates that for a person with prediabetes, adequately treated, they allocate around MXN $3,000 per year, while for a patient in advanced diabetes stages, the allocate up to MXN $65,000.

Despite the support from the public sector, many patients spend up to MXN $5,000 a month, to buy insulin, test strips, lancets, and tests, according to information published by EL UNIVERSAL today. The public institutes offer insulin, but it is not always the one patients need.

Experts have warned that the financial pressure the health system will suffer might put it at risk. In the face of this picture, prevention becomes one of the best ways to fight diabetes; the fight against overweight and obesity becomes a key factor.

Nevertheless, investing in scientific research should also be a path considered by authorities. International studies are positioning genomics as a new hope in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diabetes.

Currently, doctors treat diabetes based on trial an error by calculating the adequate dose for every patient until they respond to the treatment, but genomics present the possibility of having a more accurate diagnosis.

In Mexico, a few years ago, the National Genomic Medicine Institute identified that Mexicans have a gene associated with type 2 diabetes, which could explain up to 20% of the diabetes cases in the country. Investing in this type of researches would develop science and contribute to learning more about the illness that kills 290 Mexicans every day.

With the highest numbers of overweight and obesity in people over 15 years old, among the countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Mexico's future in regards to diabetes seems complicated. There are 16 million Mexicans diagnosed with diabetes and many more could soon join them.

A ticking time bomb.
 

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