7 Jul 2016

Researcher says diabetes levels in Pacific at crisis point

7:30 am on 7 July 2016

The Pacific's problems with diabetes have reached a crisis point according to a United States healthcare researcher.

Brown University's Professor Stephen McGarvey

Brown University's Professor Stephen McGarvey Photo: Brown University

Professor Stephen McGarvey from Brown University has been studying type 2 diabetes in American Samoa and Samoa.

He said the cost of the disease can not simply be measured in the money spent funding treatments for victims of the disease.

"The financial cost, which is not the primary cost, the primary cost is the cost to an individuals well-being, and function the ability for them to be present at their grandchild's high school graduation or wedding. Those are serious costs that individuals pay. But the dollars in the healthcare system of countries that have a lot of diabetes? My goodness it's very serious."

Professor McGarvey said once someone develops diabetes type 2 they would continue to be a burden on the health system for the rest of their lives.