Mining employees at 'risk of developing type 2 diabetes'

THE recent mining downturn and unstable economic climate is having a severe physical and mental impact on industry workers according to figures released this week by a Mackay health screening service.

Health screening conducted by CQR Health at The Queensland Mining Industry Health and Safety (QMIHS) Conference revealed 55% of industry delegates screened at the event were suffering moderately high blood pressure and 50% had a moderate to high risk of depression.

The conference was held in Townsville from August 16 to 18 and the results of health screening of industry delegates were incredibly alarming, CQR Health manager Jennifer Townley said.

"We conducted more than 60 health screens during the conference in Townsville and the results were just staggering," Ms Townley said.

"High blood pressure and the high risk of depression amongst delegates was certainly alarming enough, but also more than 70% of those screened at QMIHS had a moderate risk of developing type 2 diabetes and 5% had a very high risk," Ms Townley said.

"Almost 20% of the delegates who took part in the voluntary screen had a high risk of driver fatigue and a further 10% had a moderate risk. These figures indicate substantial physical and mental health risks among mining industry employees."

Other alarming figures indicated 25% had a moderate to high risk of developing lung disease and 10% had a moderate to high risk of alcohol-related health damage. About 10% of the delegates screened also were at risk of potentially dangerous sleep apnoea.

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