Diabetes set to double by 2016 in Australia

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 10th July 2012

New research launched today by the Australian Diabetes Council to mark Australia’s Diabetes Awareness Week maps a direct correlation between the prevalence of diabetes and heart disease across the state.

The research, based on the latest population health surveys and newly released census data, shows diabetes to be Australia’s fastest growing chronic disease with one person diagnosed every five minutes. At the current rate of growth, diabetes is set to almost double by 2016, at which point it will become the major cause of morbidity and mortality in Australia.

Nicola Stokes, the Chief Executive Officer for the Australian Diabetes Council, says government and community must act together to curb the impact of the disease which is growing at a rate of 8% per annum. “An estimated 290 Australians are diagnosed with diabetes every day,” Ms Stokes said.

Cardiovascular disease is currently Australia’s major cause of mortality, and diabetes is a major contributor. All of the top ten areas where diabetes and cardiovascular disease rates are highest are in regional Australia, with the biggest impact of the disease also hitting lower socio-economic areas in both city and regional areas.

Broken Hill tops the list with the highest rate of diabetes and heart disease, 10.09 people per 100 head of population suffer from diabetes and 12.8 people per 100 head of population have been hospitalised with heart disease.

“While there is no cure for diabetes, up to 60% of type 2 cases can be prevented by making some simple lifestyle changes,” Ms Stokes said.

The new research and approaches to combat diabetes will be discussed at the Australian Diabetes Council’s Diabetes and Sustainable Populations Forum opening today at NSW Parliament House to coincide with Diabetes Awareness Week.

Australian Diabetes Council Healthy Eating Plan

The ‘Diabetes and Healthy Hearts’ booklet, released by the Australian Diabetes Council for Diabetes Awareness Week, includes a ‘Healthy Eating Plan’ to help combat and control diabetes.

The Plan suggests that consumers aim for five serves of vegetables, two serves of fruit, two to three serves of low-fat dairy, and a variety of wholegrain bread and cereals per day. The Plan recommends no more than 65–100g of cooked lean red meat or poultry per day and two to three serves of oily fish per week.