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The number of New Zealanders diagnosed with diabetes now exceeds 200,000 for the first time, the Ministry of Health says.
In addition to those who had been told they had the disease, about 100,000 had it but had not yet been diagnosed, ministry chief advisor Sandy Dawson said.
"However, the real impact of diabetes is not described with numbers, or money. Diabetes is a priority because it reduces the quality of life for individuals, their whanau, and their communities," Dr Dawson said.
Complications arising from the disease included heart attacks, kidney failure, blindness and having limbs amputated.
Diabetes awareness week runs from November 17 to November 23.