An American company claims Tonga has the seventh highest level of diabetes in the world and third highest in the Pacific.
World Life Expectancy cites what it says are World Health Organisation statistics to back the claim.
It says the kingdom has what it calls an “age adjusted death rate” of 105.8 deaths per 100,000 people.
Fiji is listed in the company report as having the highest death rate at 187.9 deaths per 100,000 people, with Kiribati fourth with 121.3 death per 100,000 people.
The western Pacific has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world.
According to the World Health Organisation’s figures for 2016, Tonga has an average rate of 21.9% of the population suffering from diabetes.
Diabetes was more common in women and had risen from about 10% of the population in 1980 to more than 25% by 2014.
The WHO report had no figures on mortality rates.
As Kaniva News reported earlier this year, there have been claims that international figures on diabetes are flawed.
The Journal of Diabetes reported in 2016 that an error had occurred when international health authorities were testing for diabetes in Samoa, Fiji and Tonga. This led to figures being doubled.
Dr. Sione Latu told Kaniva News the original report based on this research said there was a 34.4% prevalence of diabetes in Tonga, but this was revised down to 17.7%.
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