You are invited to visit Lions Clubs pavilion at the National Ploughing Championships where Lions plan to screen 7,000 visitors for diabetes.
You will find us at: Row 32, Stand 640..
Diabetes Grows in Farming Community
Ireland’s farmers are at a growing risk of contracting diabetes, recent research has shown.
A report published in the USA reveals that that farmers were second only to transport workers in being advised by a doctor that they had diabetes, while research in Ireland suggests that changing farming practices are also a factor.
Following on the detection of potential diabetes in more than 600 visitors to the National Ploughing Championship last year, Lions Clubs plan to screen a record 7,000 people at the 2018 event in Screggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly.
A team of 140 Lions and qualified nurses will be at the Lions Marquee at the Championships from 18th to 20th September. They will offer visitors a free simple, painless blood test which is designed to identify early symptoms of diabetes. The service will run from 8am to 6pm on each day of the Ploughing Championships
Last year 8.8% of those screened, mainly farmers, were identified as potentially diabetic and were referred to their GPs for further examination.
According to Frank O’Donoghue, District Governor of Lions in Ireland, the incidence of diabetes is accelerating rapidly in rural Ireland due to diet and lifestyle changes and many people who are vulnerable to the disease remain oblivious of the risk that they are running. ‘Medical experts estimate that up to 200,000 people with diabetes in Ireland are unaware of their condition’, says Frank. ‘It is estimated that there are 200,000 people with diabetes and a similar number who have diabetes but are unaware that they have the condition. The majority of these people will only be diagnosed through an acute medical event because they do not have a regular blood test. A further 250,000 people have impaired glucose tolerance or "pre-diabetes" of which 50% will develop diabetes in the next five years if lifestyle changes are not made.’
A study published in the USA last year revealed that farmers were second only to transport workers in being advised by a doctor that they had diabetes.
The extensive survey by Gallup and Sharecare (a healthcare website) revealed that farmers who regularly used certain pesticides were particularly vulnerable Age was also a factor with many of the participating farmers aged 55 and upwards.
Another study, conducted in India revealed that 18% of participating farmers were diabetic.
Traditionally, farming was one of the most active occupations. However, according to the National Centre For Men’s Health at the Institute of Technology, Carlow, the evolution of tractors, combine harvesters, milking machines, ATV’s and jeeps has replaced a great deal of the labouring and physical aspects of farming. As a result, while farmers are still busy, they are not as physically active as they used to be. In a booklet, ‘Staying fit for Farming’, the Centre says that regular physical activity or exercise has been shown to have a hugely positive influence on both physical and mental health. It reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes and a number of cancers as well as being a very good way to manage stress and to control weight. However many farmers are not doing enough physical activity to have good health’
According to the Centre, farmers spend more time sitting while machinery ‘does the work’, some farmers stop taking part in sport when they feel that they can no longer do it competitively, many farmers struggle to find time for themselves when balancing their work and family life and some farmers simply get out of the habit of exercising and are not sure how to start back or what kind of exercise to do.
The 2,500 Lions in 106 Lions Clubs throughout Ireland, work to raise awareness of diabetes and organise frequent screening days all over the country. They have been offering this service at the National and World Ploughing Championships for many years.
The service at the 2018 National Ploughing Championships is organised by 14 Lions Clubs from Bantry, Birr, Carlow, Edenderry, Kilcullen, Monasterevin, Naas, Newbridge/Kildare, Portarlington., Portlaoise, Portumna, Roscommon, Thurles and Tullamore.
Media are invited to visit the Lions Stand where a special area will be set aside for photo opportunities with visiting dignitaries and well-known personalities.
Jennifer Byrne, the 2017 Rose of Tralee was among the visitors to the Lions Clubs Diabetes Screening at last year’s National Ploughing Championships.
Further information from:
John O’Donovan, Lions Diabetes Awareness Officer.
Frank Corr, Lions Clubs District PRO-