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Contact: Claudia Monlouis

Monday, February 7, 2005 - More persons suffer from diabetes and hypertension than are recorded in the books of the Saint Lucia Diabetics and Hypertension Association.

This was disclosed by the organization, which had mounted a booth at the recently staged second Annual Health Fair at City Hall, to capitalize on the opportunity to disseminate public education on the diagnosis and treatment of the two diseases.

Registered nurse and staff of the St. Lucia Diabetics and Hypertension Association, Lorna Wilson, said the organization believed there was an increasing number of undiagnosed persons in the wider community.

“Presently, at the association we have started a data base and we’ve had over 318 clients whom we serve. But stats per say in Saint Lucia, we really don’t have a proper number on diabetes. All we know is that the incidents are increasing, younger persons are being affected with Type Two especially, which is very preventable,” Ms. Wilson said.

Nurse Wilson said although easily prevented or controlled hypertension is often very difficult to detect and is therefore know as the silent killer. She explained that unless persons were very alert to changes in their bodies, they may never suspect the presence of the disease.

“A lot of times there are no signs or sometimes to hypertension. That’s why they call it the silent killer. We have some fortunate persons who say that they feel the back of their neck is hurting them, they feel dizzy and when they finally do go to a doctor, their blood pressure is high. Diabetes on the other hand you have quite a few, you have frequency in urination, excessive thirsts, some men suffer from impotence,” she said.

The St. Lucia Diabetic and Hypertension Association said the services offered to the public are both motivational and educational. The grouping has appealed to persons to come in to their offices in Castries to access more information.

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