There has been a lot of public outrage expressed over Belize’s internationally infamous homicide rate; however, a silent killer—Diabetus mellitus, locally known as “sugar”—continues to be the leading cause of death among Belizeans, particularly targeting the nation’s female population.

A hundred and forty-eight (148) people died from diabetes in 2010, according to official statistics supplied to Amandala by the Ministry of Health’s Epidemiologist, Dr. Aisha Andrewin. Nationally, one in ten deaths was a consequence of this disease.

The number of diabetes deaths keeps climbing. In 2009, there were 130 diabetes deaths reported, up from 103 reported cases the year before, 2008.

Meanwhile, homicides and injury purposefully inflicted was ranked as the third cause of death in Belize in 2010, with 119 lives claimed – 106 males and 13 females. This is the leading cause of death among men in Belize, and last year (2010) also saw a record number of homicides in Belize.

Heart disease was listed as the second leading cause of death, killing more males than females, 73 versus 47 deaths, respectively.

AIDS-related deaths were fourth, claiming 73 males and 31 females – with a total of 104 deaths being attributed to this condition.

In 2010, 244 new HIV infections were reported along with 81 HIV infections that had progressed to AIDS.

In all, there were 1,557 deaths reported in Belize in 2010, with 60% of them being males.

As of 2010, the country’s crude death rate was the highest it has been in the past five years.