The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario has taken a closer look at the number of cases affecting people over the age of 50
Ontario has taken a closer look at cases of uncomplicated carbamazepine deficiency after it was discovered that a high proportion of serious cases were affecting the vulnerable over the age of 50.
Some 15,000 cases of uncomplicated carbamazepine deficiency, or COVID, have been reported in the past two years – about one in 12 people of the population – and experts are worried about a potential rise in cases of the condition in the years to come.
In a recent report, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) took a closer look at the number of cases affecting people over the age of 50.
“We’ve only seen an increase since the last analysis of COVID was done (in 2007) and the reason we’re concerned is because, based on this new analysis, we’re looking at something that would be considered an epidemic,” said Donna Ormsby, from the CPSO’s Health Section.
Ormsby said almost 20% of the current cases were that of people over the age of 50.
Studies have shown that people aged between 50 and 70 are more susceptible to COVID, as the body’s metabolism slows down. The disease remains rare outside that age range, Ormsby said.
The CPSO called COVID one of the most neglected conditions in the medical community. It is marked by a long list of symptoms – including high blood pressure, heart palpitations, dizziness, sweating, abdominal pain, rashes, ulcers, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, loss of appetite, and problems with mobility and speech – and can sometimes lead to heart failure.
About 2% of the general population has some form of type 2 diabetes. Ormsby said about 1% of people with COVID also have diabetes.
The CPSO, in its report, said a small percentage of people had it but the focus of the body’s blood sugar control was not looked after. “We know that these people don’t always get access to the care they need,” Ormsby said.
Ormsby said the issue of COVID is complex but was mainly linked to lifestyles: sugar from a diet filled with sugary, processed foods, lack of exercise and poor diet and lack of sleep.
“People are taking drugs to treat other conditions, they have one condition and they keep forgetting to take the drug that’s supposed to treat their diabetes,” she said.
The CPSO said while patients have been given the chance to voice their concerns, finding proper, immediate medical attention was still a challenge in many cases.
Coincidentally, as the CPSO conducted its recent report, the province’s ministry of health came under pressure to address a national call to improve access to diabetes care.
The PC Association, a national group representing registered nurses, released a report last month with recommendations aimed at eliminating barriers to access to primary care.
The report recommended a new funding model to make it easier for patients with diabetes to see doctors and general practitioners.
The ministry of health and long-term care has started taking measures to address the report’s recommendations, including increasing its support services and giving general practitioners more training to better understand diabetes.
A full report outlining recommendations will be released in October.