A third of local 2022 deaths from preventable diseases

| 18/01/2024 | 54 Comments
.

(CNS): As many as 35% of deaths in the Cayman Islands, as recorded in the Compendium of Statistics 2022, might have been prevented with better management of people’s health, from early screening to altered lifestyles, according to Dr Samuel Williams-Rodriguez, the director of Primary Healthcare at the Health Services Authority (HSA).

According to the statistics compiled by the Economics and Statistics Office, 310 people died in the Cayman Islands in 2022, the largest number of deaths ever recorded in a twelve-month period here and an increase of almost 14% on the previous year. The five most frequent causes of death listed were cardiovascular diseases (27%), cancer (24.8%), unintentional injuries (9.7%), diabetes (8.3%) and neuropsychiatric conditions (7.9%).

The statistics do not indicate whether or not COVID-19 was a factor in any deaths recorded that year or if the virus contributed to the rise in mortality rates, though the HSA stated in November 2022 that where a “COVID-19 death” was recorded, the patient generally had significant underlying conditions.

Caymanians born today have a life expectancy of over 82 years old, and while that is high, it could be improved with better health management and prevention. “Lifestyle” diseases can be managed with consistent doctor visits and care, leading to patients living longer, Dr Williams-Rodriguez said in a press release from the HSA.

“It is a known fact that early deaths associated with chronic non-communicable diseases are largely preventable by following primary care guidelines. To lower the numbers and improve the quality of life, we must begin to focus on remedying the situation quickly through altered lifestyle habits and consultations with doctors who are able to track and provide guidance to patients,” he stated.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness recently conducted a survey to collect, analyse and disseminate core information on noncommunicable diseases in the Cayman Islands. Preliminary findings from the STEPS National Health Survey revealed that seven in ten adults are overweight, one-third are obese, and nearly 8% suffer from high blood sugar levels.

In light of these results, Dr Williams-Rodriguez said this poor state of health doesn’t just impact the individuals suffering from these conditions and their families but has a wider impact on society and productivity. However, he noted that in recent years, the provision of healthcare in the Cayman Islands has improved significantly.

“Healthcare on the islands has improved greatly, especially in the public healthcare system and district clinics, and persons should take advantage of the advancements and accessibility,” he said. “Too often, the discovery of chronic diseases is made late, requiring more resources, finances and time to remedy.”

Patients with chronic diseases should visit their doctor at least every four to six months or more frequently depending on the severity of their diagnosis, Dr Williams-Rodriguez said, noting that such precautionary visits can help patients maintain a holistic treatment plan and help doctors identify deficiencies or the need for enhanced care.

Since April 2022, the HSA has opened new clinics for General Practice, Public Health, and Geriatric Services at the Smith Road Medical Centre and opened a new Urgent Care Clinic at the Cayman Islands Hospital to facilitate better access to care for the community. While encouraging patients to visit their doctors regularly, Dr Williams-Rodriguez said the choice of clinic is important.

“Urgent care clinics are there for people seeking care for specific conditions that need immediate, non-emergent treatment,” he said. “However, the General Practice Clinic is where patients, especially those with chronic diseases, should be going for more in-depth care and discussions about their current and historical health status.”

The Urgent Care Clinic at the entrance of the hospital is open Monday to Friday, 8am – 8pm
and 11am – 8pm on weekends and public holidays.


Share your vote!


How do you feel after reading this?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , , ,

Category: Health, Medical Health

Comments (54)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Donald Duck says:

    This is not a government problem it is a people problem. The people have to choose to eat the right things for a healthy lifestyle. Cooking your own food is the first step and will be far cheaper than eating out.

    8
    1
  2. Anonymous says:

    These comments are a free survey, but Government will again prove unable and or unwilling to use these public sentiments and introduce meaningful changes.
    Who can afford kale omlettes or salmon filets?
    Why no effective health education campaigns since forever?

  3. Anonymous says:

    KFC, nobody does it… better….

    3
    2
  4. Anonymous says:

    There’s nothing wrong with eating a beef patty. There’s everything wrong with eating one every day. Same with KFC/BK/etc – treat yourself once a week with fast food, totally fine. Eat it every day? its not going to end well.

    As to exercise – just walk. 20 minutes every day is a great start, but do it every single day. Do it alone or with friends and family. Use the walk to catch up on eachothers lives. Or download a podcast and walk until its over.

    And then in a few weeks, try resistance. This is as simple as pushing against something heavy. or carrying something heavy. You could walk around your house or up your street for 10 minutes carrying 2 bibles! And work your way up to 10 bibles in a bag. resistance training is the absolute key to health and losing fat (not weight – you may gain weight as its muscle, so thats ok). Lift stuff. Anything.

    you dont have to go to a gym and be embarassed – although nobody at a gym judges you, they all started once too. They’re proud of you for trying. And they all help if you ask.

    Lift things. Work up a sweat. Walk. Then trot. Then jog (maybe in 6 months time). Not for long, maybe cycle or swim. Get outside. Lift some more stuff (fill your pots with water and walk around the garden). Walk more. eat less fast food, but keep eating. its ok to eat lots. Just not great to eat lots of fast food.

    After a few weeks, you’ll want to walk longer. You’ll be sleeping better.
    And you can still have your beef patty once a week – maybe twice a week every other week. Just not every day.

    try cooking your own dinner, even if its simple food. Cooking stuff (nearly anything!!) that isn’t full of preservatives (sodium) is healthier than anything the fast food people are selling you.

    its really that easy to form new habits. Nobody forces you to eat BK for breakfast. Try black coffee, they come in flavors now for this very reason.

    Good luck. You can do it.

    24
  5. Anonymous says:

    This is a crisis. Government should have mandatory nutrition classes in all schools. Food choices are killing too many people.

    18
  6. Anonymous says:

    Maybe Public health should issue guidelines to restaurants that prevent them serving you Curry Chicken, Rice and Beans, Potato Salad and Macaroni Salad with Plantain as a meal. All Carbs and very little protein and they call this a healthy meal. Why not 1 Carb, 1 Protein, 1 Fat and 1 Veg standard and if the customer wants it any different they can ask.

    25
    14
  7. Anonymous says:

    If you ask children here their favorite food, they don’t name food types, they name brands.

    “My favorite food is Pizza Hut” etc.

    Tragic.

    The problem is that without realizing it, this stuff acts like drugs in the brain. Kids are addicted to eating nastiness, not as a once in a while treat, but some eat BK breakfasts everyday, for example.

    It’s only going to get worse.

    39
    1
    • Cheetos 4 All says:

      All of the arable land went to make subdivisions and condos so you could come here and pontificate.

      11
      3
      • Anonymous says:

        Plenty of it was swamp.

        I’ll be pontificating from afar, without subsidizing the poor choices of a couple of generations.

        4
        2
  8. Anonymous says:

    Pretty sure you can’t avoid death, maybe an early death, but I get what you are saying!

    7
    1
  9. Anonymous says:

    More people equals more deaths

    13
    2
  10. Anonymous says:

    Our government bend backwards to subsidized multi-millionaires and their development and does nothing to subsidize the cost of buying healthy food. buying fresh fruits and vegetables today seem more like a luxury purchase than ever before.

    44
    2
    • Anonymous says:

      Yes.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is no need for fresh fruit and vegetables. Frozen are cheaper and have more nutrients. Our ‘fresh’ is chilled so long that they lose a lot of their vitamins. Try frozen! Especially in soups/smoothies/casseroles/baked pies etc

      11
      3
    • Anonymous says:

      Jeez. Let’s blame Government and developers for this one too! How’s about you take personal responsibility? There’s a novel idea. Take account of your actions and decisions. Educate yourself and family. Whilst everything is expensive here it is very very possible to eat healthily. Also, do some exercise.

      5
      1
  11. Anonymous says:

    How akout the lack of affordable health insurance?

    I know of some people with diabetes that can not afford their medecin.

    39
    4
    • Anonymous says:

      A healthy lifestyle would likely have resulted in them not being diabetic in the first place. You cannot expect to abuse your body for decades and then just take some pills paid for by an insurance company to fix the willful neglect.

      19
      13
    • anonymous says:

      They can afford all the Popeyes that gave them the diabetes though…

      20
      10
    • Anonymous says:

      Bingo. My brother and his family are paying nearly $1500 PER MONTH for health insurance. No, obviously, he doesn’t work for government. In my own case, I pay $540/month. Just me one. That is a huge chunk out of my monthly earnings, and from what I understand, it isn’t going to get better, especially with this government that is choosing to build multi-million dollar monuments instead of processes that benefit the majority of the middle class.

      Sucks to be us.

      40
      1
      • Anonymous says:

        Tax the rich, create free healthcare like most every country on earth except the U.S.

        5
        7
      • Anonymous says:

        Sucks to be a senior citizen paying 100% insurance premium with no subsidy. I’m a Caymanian who foolishly didn’t work for government. I pay $672 for health a month out of my pension. I’ve just cancelled my house insurance as the premium doubled. I chose health over house (pray there are no more Ivan type events before I die).

        12
        • Anonymous says:

          I am in the same boat. Small wonder why people hang their heads and fall into NAU. … Well … only the elderly hang their heads, because they once had a chance to do better. The youth of today thinks they are playing the government for all it’s worth, not caring that it is all of us who pay duties and fees that are funding their carefree life.

          5
          1
    • Anonymous says:

      never mind covid what about the effects of lockdown when people increasingly overate, drank too much and had much less than normal human contact, including access to healthcare. Sir Alden was knighted, Dr Lee awarded and now Minister Seymour will also receive some sort of award. Still shaking my head at awarding them for a botched job.

      7
      4
    • Anonymous says:

      I retired in 2015, my pension ran out 4 years ago, I am paying Cinico $501 per month. Cinico does not cover eye care. My Cinico coverage cannot cover my 4/5 doctor’s appointments each year so I have to pay Cinico plus out of pocket medical fees. We were promised some assistance. So far nothing while the MLAs gave themselves a big fat raise. I live in the Bodden Town West electoral district. Next election- no medical assistance =no vote.!

      8
      1
  12. Anonymous says:

    What would solve this is more Popeye’s, Domino’s Pizza, and maybe a place that does donuts, like Tim Hortons.

    As pointed out, diet is central to health. We have healthy options that are supremely expensive, or cheap stuff which is actively killing us.

    Unfortunately, many people either don’t know what crap their shoveling into their mouth, or they can’t afford to buy better.

    This rests on health education, including food and nutrition studies. Then you see the academic levels. We are churning out dumbed down students who make the mistakes their parents made.

    43
    2
    • Anonymous says:

      You can choose what to eat, you do know that right ?

      16
      3
      • Anonymous says:

        Children don’t really get to choose. They inherit their parent’s diet, more or less.

        The OP is aware of your point, but many don’t make good choices because they’re not able to discern what’s good, what’s terrible.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, but bad food is cheaper

        • Fat people deserve to be shamed says:

          “Food deserts” are a good example of left-wing social scientists getting causality backwards. They saw unproductive people (AKA poor people) eating unhealthy foods and blamed local supply. They should have blamed demand:

          “Using data from 13 years of supermarket entries, there’s basically no effects on healthy eating. The significant effects are probably not that real. They’re more likely under the null with this gigantic dataset (p’s of 0.003 and 0.005 with a total sample size of ~2.9m)

          Entry did affect sales for new stores, but not existing ones. It also affected more local places more. When new supermarkets open up, they do nab a share of local grocery sales, but the effect on healthy eating in total, among low-income households, and in food deserts, just isn’t there. But we can go further. Using a sample of movers, it appears the effect of supply is small. If rich and poor demanded the same products, the health index gap would be reduced by 91%. In alternative specifications, this ranged from 88 to 93%.

          The apparent harms of food deserts are almost entirely not a problem of supply, nor is the relationship between income and healthy eating one. Both are demand problems: unhealthy households contain people who desire unhealthy food.”

          https://twitter.com/cremieuxrecueil/status/1658195322324017152
          Underlying paper: Food Deserts and the Causes of Nutritional Inequality, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Volume 134, Issue 4, November 2019, Pages 1793–1844, https://doi.org/10.1093/qje/qjz015, https://academic.oup.com/qje/article-abstract/134/4/1793/5492274

          Also see:

          https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2017/12/political-incorrect-paper-day-food-deserts.html

          “Political Incorrect Paper of the Day: Food Deserts
          by Alex Tabarrok December 19, 2017 at 7:32 am in Economics Food and Drink Medicine
          Here is the abstract to The Geography of Poverty and Nutrition: Food Deserts and Food Choices Across the United States (free version) by Allcott, Diamond, and Dubé:

          We study the causes of “nutritional inequality”: why the wealthy tend to eat more healthfully than the poor in the U.S. Using two event study designs exploiting entry of new supermarkets and households’ moves to healthier neighborhoods, we reject that neighborhood environments have economically meaningful effects on healthy eating. Using a structural demand model, we find that exposing low-income households to the same food availability and prices experienced by high-income households would reduce nutritional inequality by only 9%, while the remaining 91% is driven by differences in demand. In turn, these income-related demand differences are partially explained by education, nutrition knowledge, and regional preferences. These findings contrast with discussions of nutritional inequality that emphasize supply-side issues such as food deserts.
          This is a good paper with a credible research design and impressive data from some 35,000 supermarkets covering 40% of the United States. Moreover, because of the widespread attention given to “food deserts” this paper probably had to be written. But color me un-surprised. The results are obvious.

          Indeed, I feel that in recent years I am reading a lot of papers that aim massive firepower on weak hypotheses. As an explanation for obesity and poor eating habits, the idea of “food deserts” was absurd. The reasons are manifold. Even in food deserts it’s actually not that difficult to get healthy food and, contrary to popular belief, healthy food is not especially expensive. Try an Asian supermarket for plenty of cheap produce. Indeed, in any part of the United States you can find plenty of poor-people eating healthy foods and plenty of rich people eating unhealthy foods.

          The food deserts idea was especially implausible for America because Americans spend less of their income on food consumed at home (6%) than any other nation. The Dutch, for example, spend (12%) of their income on food, the Italians and Japanese (14%), the Vietnamese (35%). There is plenty of room in the American food budget for healthy eating. Finally, Allcott, Diamond, and Dubé show that relative to unhealthy food, healthy food is actually a bit cheaper in low-income areas.

          More importantly, just open your eyes. Walk into a fast food joint in a food desert and ask yourself, do the customers really want brussel sprouts but are reluctantly settling for Chips Ahoy? The idea is ridiculous and not a bit insulting in denying agency to the people who live in low-income areas. If what people living in food deserts wanted was brussel sprouts, they would get them.

          The Whole Foods class think their kale and kombucha are so obviously superior to what the poor eat that the only possible explanation for poor eating is that poor people are denied choice. Yet put an inexpensive but colorful produce stand next to a McDonald’s and you can be sure that the customers will differ by class. Why the poor choose to eat differently than the rich is an interesting and important question but one more amenable to answers focusing on culture, education and history than price and income. The idea applies widely.”

          2
          2
      • Anonymous says:

        not on 6$ an hour.

        5
        2
  13. R.Conolly says:

    I thought that the article was going to explain the sudden increase in all cause mortality. It seemed to suggest that these diseases suddenly and unexplainably jumped in frequency and severity when compared to previous years.. No mention was made of Covid as a major contributor; after all it had beeen here since late 2019 ( my unverified speculation based on experience and observation) so, if it was a significant contributor, the increases should have been in the pulmonary system.What then , besides Covid, that was present in 2022, but NOT in previous years? Hmmmm..I have a notion..but dear I say, when the CMO hasnt mentioned “that” at all??? What I do know for a fact is…the graveyards are full of fresh flowers..starting in 2022 ..and continuing unabated ever since. Our ambulances alao seem to be working overtime..ALL OF THEM..

    25
    26
  14. Anonymous says:

    “Healthcare on the islands has improved greatly, especially in the public healthcare system and district clinics, and persons should take advantage of the advancements and accessibility,” he said. “Too often, the discovery of chronic diseases is made late, requiring more resources, finances and time to remedy.”

    Surely I can’t be the only one seeing this and also why retirees are leaving in droves, – Health Ins costs idiots

    20
    • Anonymous says:

      True, healthcare has become unaffordable for most. The SHIC basically covers nothing for a ridiculous premium, so if a person is unwell, they cannot afford the tests and treatment, even with this terrible insurance.
      Early diagnosis and treatment is key to good health so when those things are unaffordable, diseases and ailments progress to where they are no serious and cannot be cured.
      I have asked for years for free or affordable community exercise classes in our local community centres and church halls, perhaps combined with healthy eating and healthy weight advice. But not seen as a priority. Let the people die…more space for the MLAs and their big ass mansions.

      18
  15. Elvis says:

    The problem here is ignorance. They believe they can eat junk food and high carb diets everyday and live forever.
    Your body is your vehicle of life. Put good stuff in it and it’ll run forever . Put low quality gas in your car and itll break down. Simple.
    So called good Caribbean food will put you in hospital over time. Hospital meds mask the problems only. The rest is up to you. Take your meds and keep eating junk and your vehicle of life ( your body) will break down.
    Eat a well balanced diet of chicken, fish, oils natural foods and veg, fruits, nuts, beans and pulses and seethe results. Its easy.
    A third of you all will feel better in 3 months i guarantee you.

    37
    4
  16. Anonymous says:

    Obesity from poor diet and lack of exercise is prevalent and obvious in Cayman but not only here. It’s a problem faced by many societies worldwide, not least the USA. There was a similar study done in Florida and perhaps many other states.

    It’s the result of international lifestyles led by technology fast foods and the resulting laziness!

    30
    2
  17. Anonymous says:

    “…310 people died in the Cayman Islands in 2022, the largest number of deaths ever recorded in a twelve-month period here and an increase of almost 14% on the previous year.”
    No need to say anything else.

    23
    3
  18. Anonymous says:

    Health care is about prevention. Doctors and hospitals are for sick care.

    30
  19. Anonymous says:

    Healthcare in Cayman is a pain. Too expensive for one and HSA is a mess. People would rather ignore their symptoms than wait at GT hospital for 6+ hours just to see a doctor. Prices at the grocery store are crazy too so people stick to cheap unhealthy food. Things government could fix but Zzzzzzzzz.

    36
    8
    • Anon says:

      I didn’t see you mention exercise anywhere, which is a free lifestyle change that prevents these diseases. Do you need the government to fix that for you too?

      12
      3
  20. Anonymous says:

    who’s surprised?..just look at our mla’s or your average caymanian parent…..

    59
    1
  21. Anonymous says:

    and caymanian children are some of the most obese and inactive in the world….this has been known for years and cig does nothing as usual.
    welcome to wonderland….the future is bleak!

    45
    4
  22. Anonymous says:

    caymaian diet and lack/fear of excercise is truly terrifying…

    43
    1
    • Anonymous says:

      An Americanised Caymanian diet is worse, junk and fast food plus your mandatory seven starches and pound of sugar per week. Caymanian diet served a purpose for men and women who performed back-breaking work in days gone by, now not so much.
      A slice of heavy cake or bag of chips provide enough calories to punch the keys on computer keyboard, TV remote or swivel your thumb through endless TikTok videos for a whole month.

      28
      2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.