Diabetes, Obesity Behind 800,000 Cancers Worldwide – Study

Nearly six percent of new cancers diagnosed worldwide in 2012 — some 800,000 cases — were caused by diabetes and excess weight, according to a study published Tuesday.

Among the 12 types of cancer examined, the proportion of cases chalked up to these factors was as high as a third, researchers reported in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, a leading medical journal.

Cancers stemming from diabetes and obesity combined was almost twice as common among women than men, they found.

And of the two cancer-causing agents, being overweight or obese — above 25 on the body-mass index, or BMI — was responsible for twice as many cancers as diabetes.

The conditions, in reality, are often found together, as obesity is itself a leading risk factor for diabetes.

“While obesity has been associated with cancer for some time, the link between diabetes and cancer has only been established quite recently,” said lead author Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard, a clinical research fellow at Imperial College London’s Faculty of Medicine.

“Our study shows that diabetes — either on its own or combined with being overweight — is responsible for hundreds of thousands of cancer cases each year across the world.”

A surge in both conditions over the last four decades has made the tally significantly worse, the study showed.

The global increase in diabetes between 1980 and 2002 accounted for a quarter of the 800,000 cases, while the obesity epidemic over the same period resulted in an additional 30 percent of cases.

On current trends, the share of cancers attributable to the two conditions will increase by 30 percent for women and 20 percent for men in less than 20 years, the researchers warned.

“In the past, smoking was by far the major risk factor for cancer, but now healthcare professionals should also be aware that patients who have diabetes or are overweight also have an increased risk,” Pearson-Stuttard said.

For men, obesity and diabetes accounted for more than 40 percent of liver cancers, while for women they were responsible for a third of uterine cancers, and nearly as many cases of breast cancer.

The threshold for obesity is a BMI — one’s weight in kilos divided by one’s height (in centimetres) squared — of 30.

To conduct the study, researchers gathered data on cases of 12 types of cancer from 175 countries in 2012, and matched it with data on weight and diabetes.

People with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 are considered to be overweight.


Obasanjo Leads Diabetes Awareness Walk In Abeokuta

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has led a Diabetes sensitization walk organized by the Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation in Abeokuta the Ogun state capital to create awareness on the prevention and management of the disease among residents of the state.

In company of the state Commissioner for Health Mr Babatunde Ipaye the Oluwo of Iwoland, oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, the former president led the walk across some major streets in the state capital.

Himself, as well as the state commissioner, asked Diabetic patients to adhere strictly to the treatment and management of the disease by maintaining a good and healthy lifestyle.

The former president who noted that he is now well above 80 and could walk with agility despite being diabetic (covering a distance of 1km uphill of the distance on foot during the walk), lamented that many of the nation’s youth rarely exercise.

“Diabetes is not a disease that should kill, I was diagnosed to be diabetic more than 30 years ago but rather, I am growing strong, if you don’t believe I am growing strong and you didn’t witness this walk, come and see me at night, you will know I am growing strong, come and see me in the morning, you will know I am growing, even in the afternoon, you will know I am growing strong,” he said.

“What is necessary is a management of diabetes. Some people said some diseases are incurable, but diabetes is manageable and compliant”.

“My headmaster in primary school was diagnosed at the age of 50 and died at age 85, you will agree with me that he tried.”

“What to do is that if you’re diabetic, don’t be nonchalant about it and don’t eat carelessly. Three things are important, the food you eat, regular exercise and prescribed medication, those are the three most important things.”

“You can be diabetic and still live till 100, I don’t know when I would die but I am above 80 and many of the youth could not catch up with my pace during the exercise this morning, many of them were running after me.”

“This is my message. Whether you’re diabetic or you have a family or friend with diabetes, it is not a killer disease or it should not be a killer disease unless you are careless,” he stressed.

Physicians Raise Alarm Over Increasing Disease Rate In Nigeria

Physicians Raise Alarm Over Increasing Disease Rate In NigeriaThe Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria has raised an alarm over increasing rate of Non-Communicable Diseases like diabetes, cancer and hypertension in the country.

The association stated this in Ado Ekiti at the 33rd National Scientific Conference and Annual General Meeting themed: Non-Communicable Disease Burden: Health System Preparedness in Nigeria.

Speaking at the opening, the Chairman, Local Organising Committee, Dr. Olusegun Elegbede, blamed this on change in lifestyle of people and the economic recession.

According to him, there is evidence that NCDs are undermining the attainment of Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals.

“There has been growing burden of NCD and the World Economic Forum has reported it as leading macro-economic risk at global level,” he said.

The National Chairman of APHPN, Professor T.M. Akande, said the conference offered another opportunity to network and rub minds on burning public health issues in Nigeria and the strategies for advancing public health practice in Nigeria.

In a paper entitled, “Nigerian Health System Response to the Emerging Epidemics of NCDs,” the Guest Speaker, Professor Olanipekun Alausa, said chronic NCDs have become more prominent causes of illness, disabilities and deaths.

“In addition, changes in lifestyles and in the environment have increased the morbidity and mortality rates due to NCDs,” he said.

Recommending solutions, Alausa called for the strengthening of health systems with appropriate technologies in tertiary institutions.

According to him, the cost of management must be made affordable and heavily subsidised by the government and other health agencies.

“Affected people with diagnosed NCDs should seek hospital patronage early and desist from consulting and seeking for traditional and religious solutions in the first instance.

“The government should come to the assistance of patients, rather than the patients begging for donations on television stations and social media,” he added.

FG Offers Free Healthcare Services In Oyo

Health, Oyo, HealthcareAt least 700 people from three Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Oyo State have received free health services under the ‘Rapid Response Initiative’ of the Federal Government.

The Federal Ministry of Health kicked off the initiative at the University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, the state’s capital in southwest Nigeria.

The Chief Medical Director at the UCH, Professor Temitope Alonge, said that the initiative was aimed at providing access to quality healthcare services to poor people in their local communities.

The programme, which was scheduled to hold its first phase within the localities of all the 11 LGAs in Ibadan, started in Akinyele, Ona Ara and Ibadan Northwest LGAs.

Patients were assessed and treated for various ailments ranging from hypertension, diabetes, hernia and eye defects among other complex health issues.

Professor Alonge disclosed that more than 300 people have been given referrals to UCH out of which at least 60 would be operated upon free of charge.

“One thing we have been seeing which is interesting is that we have a lot of people whose blood pressures are ranging from 300, 200 to 120, 220 and that is one of the things we are worried about and they are a lot.

“About one third of them almost have one problem with their eyes, cataract and cornea opacity. Again all of those ones will have to be attended to.

“We have a retired matron, a public health officer who is from Moniya and she took it upon herself yesterday (Sunday) and two days ago to go to the mosques and churches to do the enlightenment.

“This is a good lesson for us. So we will do the same (by) looking for people in that particular locality and use them as focal persons to help us spread the news,” he said.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in Oyo State, Dr. Babtunde Latunji, who accompanied other doctors to launch the outreach, acknowledged the initiative’s focus on providing free access for rural dwellers and those in the urban centres within the city.

“Because of poverty or cost of affordability, they have been keeping to themselves and they can’t actually seek for the health intervention that rather addressed their issues.

“You have cases like glaucoma, you can have cataract you can have hernia, you can have cleft palate, even VVF and other gynaecological cases in this environment.

“So with this kind of intervention, we are hopeful that perhaps people will be able to access free health services and their health condition will be a little bit ameliorated,” Dr. Latunji stated.

Professor Alonge, Dr. Latunji , 20 doctors from pediatric, ophthalmic and general surgery departments, as well as about 30 relevant health workers have been drafted to attend to as many patients as possible within the local governments listed for the free medical outreach.

What You Should Know About Exercise

ExerciseConsistent physical exercise, extends far beyond weight management and is believed to be one of the most important things one can do for good health, particularly in the prevention of non-communicable diseases.

Going by figures from the World Health Organization (W.H.O), 24 per cent of deaths in Nigeria occur, owing to non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases.

Research shows that regular physical activity can help reduce your risk for several diseases and health conditions and improve your overall quality of life.

Although such information seems rather cliché, it is necessary to re-iterate the importance of exercise as well as other lifestyle changes that can be imbibed for sustainable health.

According to fitness trainer, Jane Amuta, “fitness is a lifestyle, its not something that you touch one day and you leave it because these benefits come over time with consistency.

“I always marry fitness with diet because you need to feed this body with the right things to be able to function properly.”

Benefits Of Exercise

Heart Disease and Stroke: Daily physical activity can help prevent heart disease and stroke by strengthening your heart muscle, lowering your blood pressure, raising your High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) levels (good cholesterol) and lowering Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) levels (bad cholesterol), improving blood flow, and increasing your heart’s working capacity.

High Blood Pressure: Regular physical activity can reduce blood pressure in those with high blood pressure levels. Physical activity reduces body fat, which is associated with high blood pressure.

Obesity: Physical activity helps to reduce body fat by building or preserving muscle mass and improving the body’s ability to use calories. When physical activity is combined with proper nutrition, it can help control weight and prevent obesity, a major risk factor for many diseases.

Back Pain: By increasing muscle strength and endurance and improving flexibility and posture, regular exercise helps to prevent back pain.

Osteoporosis: Regular weight-bearing exercise promotes bone formation and may prevent many forms of bone loss associated with aging.

Self Esteem And Stress Management: Researchers have found that exercise is likely to reduce depression and anxiety and in ultimately, improve one’s self-image as well as help you to better manage stress.

Are You At Risk Of Diabetes? Facts You Should Know

Research for diabetesAn estimated 3.8 million Nigerians between the ages of 20-79 years are living with diabetes, according to figures from the 7th edition of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) diabetes atlas report.

Perhaps more disturbing revelation from the report is that more than two-thirds of Nigerians with diabetes are unaware and undiagnosed.

With these figure, early detection and consistent treatment of this non-communicable disease that affects both the young and the old are very key to determining how diabetics could handle their health condition.

It is one of those silent medical conditions that can hardly be seen on the face.

Be it type-one diabetes in which the body does not produce insulin; type-two, whereby the body produces insulin but is not enough or gestational diabetes which affects some women during pregnancy, it is all about too much glucose in the blood.

Explaining the types, Dr. Jacob Nwachukwu, said: “Type-one diabetes, which starts early in childhood and arising from destruction of pancreas, an organ that secrets insulin is damaged early in childhood and the person depends on insulin for life. That one, previously, was called insulin dependent diabetes but the one that affects adults is triggered by a number of lifestyle measures like somebody being overweight, lack of exercise, sedentary lifestyle.

People At Risk

According to him, the danger is that early in the disease, you feel nothing.

“That is why it is called a silent killer, because it will be in the body for five to 10 years, causing subtle damage which will accumulate eventually to start to give the symptoms,” Dr Nwachukwu.

A consultant endocrinologist, Rita Isiavwe, explaining the risks, said: “When we talk about risks, we talk about modifiable risk factors and non-modifiable risk factors. You can’t do anything about your family history, you can’t do anything about your age because as you get older, the prevalence increases. But you can do something about your weight, you can do something about exercising and then, we also notice that people who have high blood pressure and raised cholesterol are also at an increased risk of having diabetes”.

There are signs that you don’t want to experience before you get screened for diabetes. Both type-one and type-two diabetes have similar symptoms which if left unattended to can result in some complications. These signs are increased thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, unexplained weight loss, slow-healing sores and high blood pressure.

“Talking about complications of diabetes, the complications of diabetes affect every organ, every system. From the head to the brain. From stroke to blindness, cataract to heart problem to kidney failure to peripheral vascular disease to amputations. They are all important but much more important is the foot ulcers and diabetes related amputations which are largely preventable. Up to 85% of amputations are preventable by adopting healthy foot care practice and being watchful,” Dr Isiavwe explained.

Prevention Is Cheaper

Individually tailored treatment remains the lifeline for people living with diabetes, but the cost is a challenge, a more reason it is sometimes referred to as a condition for the rich.

According to a publisher and editor, Nigeria Health Online, Mr Sam Eferaro, said oral medication are so expensive, with an insulin costing over 6,000 Naira.

“Some may need about three in a month. It depends on how you are able to control your blood sugar and your condition. Unfortunately, not many Nigerians are on insulin right now and it is because the cost is high. So, if we must control cardiovascular disease like diabetes, then government must begin to think of a measure to bring down the cost of drugs,” Mr Eferaro emphasised.

On what the government is doing to reduce the cost of treatment, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, said the government could do a lot, through subsidisation of the cost, asking diabetics to go for health insurance.

“The government is actually helping them through health insurance and there are quite a number of things. But much more important is the fact that we need to prevent diabetes. I think that is cheaper,” the minister pointed out.

It is said that prevention is certainly better than cure. While risk factors such as genetics and age are not adjustable, healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use can prevent or delay the onset of type-two diabetes.

Also, blood sugar levels should be regularly checked so that any trace of diabetes can be detected and for early management of the condition to begin.

Ensure you find out your blood sugar level and live a healthy lifestyle.

Aisha Buhari Launches Free Medical Service In Nasarawa

Nasarawa, Aisha Buhari
Wife of Nigeria’s President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has flagged off a three-day free health screening programme in Nasarawa State.

The medical outreach was launched on Monday under the auspices of ‘Future Assured Initiative’ to cater for women and children with various health challenges.

The programme was in collaboration with the wife of the Nasarawa State Governor, Mairo Al-Makura.

It complements the efforts of the state government in providing adequate health care service to the people.

A representative of the President’s wife, Grace Shamma, said that the poor health condition of women and children prompted Mrs Buhari’s decision to organise the screening.

According to Mrs Shamma, she maintained that it was only a healthy population that could drive the economy.

While appreciating initiative of the wife of the President, Mrs Al-Makura called on the Nasarawa State Governor to do more for the people with critical health challenges, especially the silent killer diseases.

In his response, Governor Tanko Al-Makura thanked Mrs Buhari for choosing the state for such outreach program, appealing to the beneficiaries to comply with the instructions given to them.Nasarawa, Aisha Buhari

The outreach program was organised to screen women and children, including men for hypertension, diabetes, breast and cervical cancer, hernia, lipoma and  cataract often referred to as ‘silent killer diseases’.

The organisers of the programme assured individuals found positive of various ailments of immediate treatment.

They added that cryotherapy services would be offered to women with cervical problems and there would be referrals and follow ups where the need arises.

The health screening, which is being organised in the six Nigeria’s geo-political zones, is targeting women and children with very severe medical conditions.

Plateau Rural Dwellers Enjoy Free Medical Care From NACA

medical outreachMore than 2,000 people in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State, north central Nigeria were beneficiaries of the free medical outreach programme organised by the National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA).

The 4-day programme was targeted at the rural dwellers with prevention messages on HIV/Aids, diagnosis and treatment of some ailments, as well as clinical consultation and referrals of other diseases that could not be handled during the outreach.

Services were provided for the diagnosis and treatment of several ailments ranging from hypertension, malaria, deworming of children, random blood sugar test and diabetes among others.

Some of the beneficiaries shared their experiences on the exercise. They said it has brought relief to them, considering many rural dwellers could not afford the high cost of treatment in the hospitals.

The member representing Barkin Ladi/Riyom constituency in the House of Representatives commended NACA for choosing the constituency for the medical outreach.

Mr Istifanus Gyang expects the tempo to be sustained through massive community driven campaign and provision of health facilities to the rural areas across the nation.

Nigeria Army Offers Free Medical Services To Damaturu Residents

ArmyThe Nigeria Army has flagged off a free medical service to Damaturu residents in the troubled Yobe State, North-east Nigeria.

Flagging off the free medical service, the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, said that with the support of the Federal Government, the programme would be sustained to enhance the health status of the inhabitants.

The aim of the programme, according to him, is to enhance civil-military relationship. He commended the cooperation being accorded security personnel by the people of Yobe and urged the inhabitants to sustain the tempo.

Major General Tukur Yusuf Buratai said that the Damaturu-Biu road that was taken over by the Boko Haram insurgents has been cleared of any danger by security forces.

The Army Chief, while expressing sadness that the people of the area, who have been law abiding and contributing to the socio-economic development of the country, were dislodged from their homes by the terrorists, stressed that apart from the road being safe, the two towns were also safe.

He said that security forces would continue to patrol of the Damaturu-Biu road so that commuters and inhabitants can live a normal life and be free from any molestation in the hands of the hoodlums.

The free medical service saw the residents benefiting from general medical consultation, screening for blood pressure, viral diseases, hepatitis and diabetes among others.

The residents were also offered free HIV test and consultations as well as general health education.

Study Reveals Type 2 Diabetes Can Reduce Brain Activity

Research-for-diabeticsA research published in the Neurology Journal on the 8 July shows that people with type 2 diabetes can experience a drop in cognitive ability and overall brain function within just two years.

This is triggered by reduction of blood flow to the brain and tissue inflammation.

Several tests were conducted by researchers on sixty-five participants over a two-year period.

The results revealed that participants diagnosed with type 2 diabetes had consistently lower scores on tests that evaluated thinking and memory at the end of the two years.

“Our major finding is we have linked the acceleration of the cognitive decline to impaired blood flow regulation in the brain,” said senior study author, Dr. Vera Novak, an Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

However, the researchers admitted that a study over a more extensive period and including more participants was necessary to better understand how type 2 diabetes may affect the brain.

Funders of the research include the U.S. National Institute on Ageing, the American Diabetes Association, the Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center and the U.S. National Center for Research Resources.