Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease in New Zealand

Topics: New Zealand, Obesity, Myocardial infarction Pages: 5 (1954 words) Published: July 15, 2013
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes are major health issues for Māori, Pacific and south Asian people. The impacts of these diseases are increasing hospital admissions and readmissions hence increasing with an aging population. (Kaitiaki Nursing, New Zealand, 2013, pg. 20). Diabetes mellitus has been well pronounced as a cardiovascular risk factor in New Zealand and people with diabetes are 2-4 times more likely to suffer from CVD hence is a leading cause of death in diabetic patients (ministry of health, 2011, pg.2). Diabetes mellitus type 2 is a preventable and reversible condition giving rise to a range of serious complications associated with nerve and blood vessel damage that bring on blindness, limb amputations, kidney disease, and increased risk of infection (Powers, 2005). According to Diabetes New Zealand (2008), people with diabetes increases the risk of developing narrowed, thickened or completely occluded arteries (atherosclerosis) due to an elevated blood sugar level. Insulin resistant diabetes (type 2) or a complete absence of insulin (type 1) increases serum lipid levels as cells try to break down fats and protein to form energy. Lipids are released as the bio-product which then travels in blood increasing the risk for occlusion in blood vessels. Hyperglycaemia, insulin resistance and altered serum lipid levels are responsible for formation of coronary plaque and blood clot in vessels. This leads to health issues such as ischaemic heart disease, stroke, hypertension myocardial infarction etc. (Lewis, 2012, 1388-1389). In New Zealand Maori, Pacific Islanders and South Asians are at a higher risk of developing diabetes, increasing chances of dying of cardiovascular diseases. Modifiable factors such as nutrition, physical inactivity, smoking, alcohol consumption and body size influence the risk of getting affected by diabetes and CVD. According to Ministry of Health (2008) diabetes occurs earlier in Pacific and Maori peoples, about 10 years before Europeans which contributes to an increased risk of chronic health conditions and mortality rate. It is appraised that due to demographic trends and projected growth in obesity, the number of diabetes cases will increase and the increase will be greater within the Māori, Pacific, and south Asian populations (Ministry of Health, 2008d). 25% of adults in New Zealand meet the criteria for obesity due to lifestyle, unhealthy nutrition and increased physical inactivity (eg. 42% of Maori and 63.7% of Pacific peoples meet the criteria for obesity). The New Zealand Medical Journal, 2006 states that Asian new Zealanders especially Indians show a very high percentage of diabetes and CVD which is similar to Maori people (Ameratunga, Rasanathan, Tse, 2006). According to the Ministry of Health (2009), more Maori, South Asian and pacific people died from the year 1987- 2006 when compared to non-Maori. Obesity is primarily caused by poor nutrition and sedentary lifestyles (Ministry of Health, 2008e). The New Zealand sport and physical activity surveys (conducted in 1997/98, 1998/99, and 2000/01) by Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) found that Pacific, Maori and south Asian children had higher levels of inactivity than other groups. Additionally, a healthy diet is a key determinant of health outcomes and is particularly important for the growth and development. With regards to ministry of health (2003), Maori, south Asian and more of pacific people in new Zealand tend to eat more unhealthy food as it came cheaper and children skipped breakfast due to lack of parental supervision. Smoking is seen to be another lifestyle adaptation amongst the New Zealand community and the leading risk factor for many forms of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. More Māori and Pacific individuals’ smoke (45 percent and 31 percent, respectively) compared with the total New Zealand population (20.7 percent) (Ministry of Health, 2008k). The Youth 2007 Survey found that twice as many...
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