In an alarming development, New Zealand has discovered that thousands of its people could be living with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. They have been asked to seek medical advice after the discovery of their risk factors.

According to Diabetes New Zealand, more than 3,500 people undertook an assessment of their risk factors during the inaugural Diabetes Action Month in November. The Diabetes Action Month was aimed at alerting the country that people are at risk of diabetes.

“We have identified almost 2,500 people who really need to see their GP for a clinical test,” says Diabetes NZ chief executive Steve Crew.

Crew further explained that the assessment tools they used covered a wide range of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes. These include ethnicity, weight and exercise traits.

A score of more than six points underline the need to seek immediate medical advice. What is really alarming about the assessment findings, according to Crew, is that there were people who scored above 20, indicating an extremely high risk of having or developing type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is New Zealand’s fastest-growing health crisis, with the number of Kiwis living with diabetes having doubled from 125,000 to 250,000 in the past 10 years. Data reveals that 40 new diabetes cases are diagnosed every day in the country.

“New Zealand needs to collectively get behind this worrying epidemic. Don’t turn a blind eye, it is New Zealand’s to own and change,” says Crew.

The World Diabetes Congress in Canada has revealed that New Zealand is not far behind the US in ranking for diabetes, reports 3NEWS. According to Crew, more than nine percent of New Zealanders have diabetes, compared to 6.3 percent in Australia.

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