Diabetes

Diabetes is a serious, common and costly disease. It is a major public health challenge. Over 25,000 adults in Tasmania have diabetes. A further 50,000 have a pre-diabetes condition that puts them at high risk of later developing diabetes and/or heart disease and stroke. Yet diabetes is controllable and in many ways preventable.

Serious

Diabetes is a progressive disease. The longer a person has diabetes the greater the risk of developing complications, such as blindness, kidney disease/failure, foot and leg amputations, heart disease and stroke. Untreated, diabetes can make life miserable. However if detected early and managed effectively many of these adverse outcomes can be prevented.

Common

Diabetes affects over 1 million Australians or 7.5% of the population. In Tasmania diabetes affects 8.2% of the adult population and over 20% of those aged 65 years and over.

Costly

The cost of diabetes in Australia is very high. In 2002 the total (direct plus indirect) average health cost for people with diabetes was $5325 per year. The cost for people with complications was 2.4 times higher than in people who had no diabetes complications.

Controllable

The Diabetes Prevention Program (August 2001) found that people at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes reduced their risk by 58% just by following an intensive lifestyle program. This included 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day, making improvements in their diet and if necessary losing some weight.

In 2003 the Tasmanian Government made Strengthening the Prevention and Management of Chronic Conditions one of its major strategic priorities for the next 3 years. Diabetes will be a major focus in this strategy.

It is important and encouraging to know that Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or its onset delayed. With rigorous lifestyle management it is also possible to return from a diabetic state to a pre-diabetic condition.

 

This website provides basic information on diabetes. For more information visit the Diabetes Australia website at http://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au or visit their new website for people under 25 at www.myd.net.au.  Your General Practitioner, Diabetes Specialist, Diabetes Educator, Dietician, Podiatrist and Optometrist will also provide you with advice and information on diabetes.