The number of diabetics in the Balearics will double in 20 years “unless we apply preventive measures,” according to José Moreiro, head of the endocrinology service at Son Dureta hospital. Moreiro, accompanied by Encarnación Martin de Oliva, president of the Palma Diabetics Association, was speaking at the presentation of a national campaign, which goes under the slogan “controlling cholesterol is good for diabetics. He said that there were 40'000 diabetics in the Balearics, 30'000 of them in Majorca, and their death rate is double or treble that of the healthy population. Moreira said that the cardiovascular death rate of a diabetic was 60 per cent, and for coronorary it was 50 per cent, putting health expenditure up to 100'000 million pesetas. Half of this was for hospital stays due to cardiovascular complications, which cost 62'000 pesetas per patient per day. Moreiro said that between 20 and 50 per cent of people with diabetes are not diagnosed and warned that a diabetic who smokes, has high cholesterol and high blood pressure “runs an enormous risk of having a heart attack.” This risk can be dramatically reduced to almost zero if the patient can give up smoking and control blood pressure and cholesterol levels, he added. Asthenia, an increase in the frequency in urinating and drinking water, cramps in the legs and alterations to the sight are some of the symptoms which may indicate type two diabetes, which is the most frequent and is due to a resistance to the action of insulin or a deficiency in its production. The doctor recommended that anyone over the age of 45 who has a diabetic family member, is overweight, takes little exercise and has other of the above-mentioned risk factors should control sugar levels periodically.

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