The incidence of Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes was found to double for men compared to women, according to a Vhi Healthcare screening project, the largest ever study of its kind in Ireland. It has been underway since January 2009 and to date over 24,000 people have been screened for type II diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors. Of the people screened, over 2,500 people were diagnosed with either Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes, 1,600 of who were men compared to a little over 900 women. More women than men attended for screening so this represents 18.5% of men and 8.4% of the women screened.
The Vhi Healthcare study also identified a number of findings regarding risk factors for diabetes. Of those screened, 76% of men were found to be overweight or obese compared to 54% of women (based on their body mass index) and 23% of women and 27% of men had high blood pressure on the day of screening regardless of whether they had been diagnosed with high blood pressure previously or not.
Commenting on the findings Dr Bernadette Carr, Medical Director, Vhi Healthcare said “these figures highlight the importance for both sexes to be aware of the risk factors for diabetes. Early detection and lifestyle changes can improve outcomes, and in the case of pre-diabetes can even delay or prevent progression to diabetes.”
Vhi Healthcare has introduced a range of health screening packages designed to give customers an overview of their health, help identify risk factors that may cause potential health issues in the future and allow customers take a more proactive approach to managing their health.
- Screen Express involves tests such as blood, urine, blood pressure, vision and a consultation with a Vhi Doctor who will discuss results and provide relevant lifestyle advice.
- Screen Essential involves a full blood test to include tests for diabetes, cholesterol and other conditions. The package also involves tests such as vision, hearing, urine, lung function and resting ECG. The Vhi Healthcare customer also sees the Vhi Doctor to discuss the results and receive relevant lifestyle advice.
- Screen Extra involves all of the above as well as additional tests if medically appropriate such as colon cancer screening, prostate screening and PSA test for men. Screen Extra also includes a full physical examination with the Vhi Doctor as well as relevant lifestyle advice.
Most of the cost of the screening is covered as part of the individual customer’s policy, with customers making a small contribution. Screening takes place in one of the Vhi Medical Centres located in Cork and Dublin. Following screening, members will be provided with a medical report detailing the results of the tests.