Sun | Nov 18, 2018

Study shows too many Jamaicans unaware of their health status

Published:Friday | September 7, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer

Concerns have emerged about the low level of awareness among Jamaicans about their health status, especially as it relates to hypertension and diabetes.

This was revealed by Dr Trevor Ferguson, who was among a number of medical practitioners who outlined findings from the most recent Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Survey at a conference at the Mona Visitors' Lodge in

St Andrew, yesterday.

Ferguson said that men continue to show higher levels of apathy with regard to their health compared to women.

"We looked at the levels of awareness for hypertension and diabetes. What is striking is that for hypertension, 40 per cent of persons were unaware of their status. This was more marked among men, which showed 60 per cent were unaware, compared to women, 26 per cent," he said.

"Similarly for diabetes, 42 per cent were unaware, and again, 55 per cent of men were more likely to be unaware compared to 36 per cent of women."

The doctor said that it is imperative that the importance of screening and regular check-ups is emphasised.

He continued: "There are lots of persons going around who might not have gone to a doctor in recent times, and they may have high blood pressure or diabetes and don't know that they have it. That is why we recommend screening. If persons are doing their annual checks, it is likely that it would be picked up and that they would be aware that they have the condition so that they can be treated. They think they are OK, but actually, they are not."

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com