Says because of lifestyle-related issues Bahamians are sicker than most and die prematurely
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – A bullet is now the number one cause of death for the Bahamian male, said Minister of Health Minister Dr Duane Sands on Wednesday.
During his contribution to the 2019/2020 budget debate in the House of Assembly on Thursday, Dr Sands said The Bahamas is one of the world’s leaders when it comes ‘penetrating trauma’ as a result of gunshots and stabbings.
He also noted that the probability of males in The Bahamas dying from penetrating trauma injuries far exceed the risk of death from Cancer or HIV/AIDS.
“For the last few years, the number one cause of death of a Bahamian male
has been a bullet,” Dr Sands said. His comments came just hours after the country’s latest murder recorded on Wednesday, when 21-year-old Bradley Smith was shot when the occupants of a silver Honda Fit pulled up in front of a convenience store on Dunmore Avenue and opened fire.
In his contribution, the health minister also pointed to the country’s extremely high obesity rate.
“The percentage of population who was overweight reached 79.25 per cent in 2012, up from 70.5 per cent in 2005 with no significant difference by sex. We expect new data next month (review of STEP study 2019) but have no optimism that this will change,”Dr Sands said.
will improve. Four of every five Bahamians are overweight…and 49.2% are
“For sake of comparison 39 per cent of the world population were overweight
in 2016 and 13 per cent were obese.
“In a (meta-analysis) study of 2.88 million people, obesity was associated with a hazard ratio of 1.18 in terms of risk of death of cardiovascular disease (CVD). That means that obese persons are about 20 per cent more likely to die from cardiovascular disease. All other things being equal, obese persons have a higher chance of getting cancer (endometrial, breast, colon, kidney, gallbladder and liver), type 2 diabetes, renal failure and stroke.”
Dr Sands said 90 per cent of Bahamians eat insufficient fruits and vegetables, 72.6 per cent have adopted a sedentary lifestyle, 16.7 per cent are current smokers, 40.8 per cent are current alcohol users, 58.2 per cent have an abnormally high blood pressure and 23.9 per cent are diabetic.
Dr Sands said these lifestyle-related issues mean that Bahamians are on average sicker than most and die prematurely than most, which causes healthcare to be more expensive.
than most… require more health care services than most… die prematurely
as compared to most… and have health care costs that are more expensive.