Author(s): Bourne PA, McDaniel S, Williams MS, Francis C, KerrCampbell MD,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Globally, chronic illnesses are the leading cause of mortality, and this is no different in developing countries, particularly in the Caribbean. Little information emerged in the literature on the changing faces of particular self-reported chronic diseases. AIMS: This study examines the transitions in the demographic characteristics of those with diabetes, hypertension and arthritis, as we hypothesized that there are changing faces of those with these illnesses. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A sample of 592 respondents from the 2002 and 2007 Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions. Only respondents who indicated that they were diagnosed with these particular chronic conditions were used for the analysis. RESULTS: The prevalence of particular chronic diseases increased from 8 per 1,000 in 2002 to 56 per 1,000 in 2007. The average annual increase in particular chronic diseases was 17.2\%. Diabetes mellitus showed an exponential average annual increase of 185\% compared to hypertension (+ 12.7\%) and arthritis (- 3.8\%). Almost 5 percent of diabetics were less than 30 years of age (2.4\% less than 15 years), and 41\% less than 59 years. Three percent of hypertensive respondents were 30 years and under as well as 2\% of arthritics. CONCLUSION: The demographic transition in particular chronic conditions now demands that data collection on those illnesses be lowered to < 15 years. This research highlights the urgent need for a diabetes campaign that extends beyond parents to include vendors, confectionary manufacturers and government, in order to address the tsunami of chronic diseases facing the nation.
This article was published in N Am J Med Sci
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals