Controlling blood pressure key for persons living with diabetes

People living with diabetes must focus more so on controlling their blood pressure, rather than simply engaging in blood sugar testing, since hypertension puts them at risk for death and must be better controlled.

Director of the George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre (GA-CDRC), Professor Alafia Samuels pointed out the above, as she spoke at the official launch of the second Barbados Diabetes Reversal/Remission Study to be carried out by the GA-CDRC in partnership with the Massy Foundation. Massy Foundation is funding the project, to the tune of almost Bds $145 000 and the launch took place at Massy (Barbados) Corporate Offices this week.

“We think of diabetes as being a disease that has to do with sugar and so the thought is control the sugar, control the sugar. Actually, it’s more important to control the blood pressure,” Professor Samuels commented.

“Nearly 70 per cent of persons living with diabetes have elevated blood pressure and most people (who have) diabetes will die from heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure… so control the pressure,” Samuels maintained.

“We know that in Barbados right now among our general population, about 40 per cent have high blood pressure, about a quarter of those do not know that they have the high blood pressure and amongst everybody with high blood pressure, only 30 per cent of men and 45 per cent of women are controlled targets. So 70 per cent of men with high blood pressure are not controlled, 55 per cent of women who have high blood pressure are not controlled to target,” she lamented.
As such, Professor Samuels highlighted the need for the second Barbados Diabetes Reversal/Remission Study, since the project will contribute towards greater education as well as capacity building to strengthen disease prevention and control and it will also serve as a model for Barbados and other countries, with a high prevalence of diabetes. (RSM)

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