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Cyprus urged to improve care for diabetics

Most common kind of diabetes is lifestyle-related Type 2, usually developing in adulthood

By Jean Christou

CYPRUS ranks 23rd among 30 countries on the European League Table for Diabetes, falling behind on the creation of a national registry of diabetics, it was revealed on Monday.

The Euro Diabetes Index (EDI), compiled by the Health Consumer Powerhouse (HCP), covers the 28 EU Member States plus Norway and Switzerland, and evaluated how they perform against a series of indicators with regard to type 1 and 2 diabetes.

The indicators include prevention, search events, scope and volume of services, access to treatment, care processes and outcomes.

Dr Beatriz Cebolla, EDI project manager said of Cyprus that there was no national registry.

“This usually means that data on the processes and outcomes of medical treatment are unclear or non-existent, making evaluation difficult,” she said. “Prevention of diabetes is a challenge for an adult population with obesity rate of 27 per cent and a high number of people with a sedentary lifestyle.”

The international diabetes federation says that close to 84,000 people in Cyprus aged between 20 and 79 are estimated to have diabetes, a third of whom only find out between four and seven years after the onset of the disease. Nearly 470 people died in Cyprus from diabetes-related complications in 2012.

Nearly 15,000 children in Cyprus aged up to 14 have also been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

The most common kind of diabetes is the lifestyle-related Type 2, usually developing in adulthood. Treatment may involve lifestyle changes and weight loss alone, medications or insulin injections.

Over all, diabetes costs the government close to €4 million a year.

Cebolla said that to improve care for diabetics on the island, Cyprus needed to establish a national registry for recording and evaluating the results of the care of patients. It should also give priority to the prevention of diabetes and coordinate efforts around the island with standard procedures and practices.

Sweden came top of the EDI with 936 of a total of 1,000 points, followed by the Netherlands (922), Denmark (863), UK (812) and Switzerland (799). Cyprus received 568 points, putting it in 23rd place out of the 30 countries.

Across Europe more than 32 million people have been diagnosed with the disease and many more cases remain undiagnosed, HCP said. In 2013, the cost of treatment in Europe was estimated at €100-€150 billion.

HCP said that since the release of its first index in 2008, the number of national registries for diabetes had not increased at all.

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