Undiagnosed diabetes more common among older people outside Dublin

Access to health services may be reason for result of Tilda study

Undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes is more common among older people living outside Dublin. Photograph: Thinkstock

Undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes is more common among older people living outside Dublin. Photograph: Thinkstock

 

Undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes is more common among older people living outside Dublin.

A new report from Trinity College Dublin’s longitudinal study on ageing (Tilda) shows one in 10 people over 50 in Ireland (120,000) has diabetes.

Led by Prof Rose Anne Kenny at Trinity, Tilda has completed three waves of data collection from its nationally representative cohort of more than 8,000 people living in Ireland, aged 50 and over.

The study found those with private health insurance were less likely to have undiagnosed diabetes.

Distance from GP

“People in Dublin are less likely to have undiagnosed diabetes. One of reasons potentially for this is access to health services,” Dr Leahy said.

“We haven’t drilled down our research in the rural areas yet . . . two rural areas aren’t comparable so we don’t know the finer detail. However, things like distance from your GP may affect how often you visit them or how early it is diagnosed,” she said.

Dr Leahy said the incidence of diabetes is in line with other European countries. “While it’s not a particularly high prevalence . . . it is a modifiable disease and highly affected byphysical activity and lifestyle. Ten per cent of people with diabetes are undiagnosed.”

The study recommends targeted screening of at-risk groups.