The growing Diabetes health epidemic
Posted on Thursday, 14 July 2011
Type 2 Diabetes continues to be the fastest growing chronic disease in Australia with many Australians not realising the seriousness of diabetes remaining untreated.
Hon Judi Moylan MP, Federal Member for Pearce and Chair of the Parliamentary Diabetes Support Group, said what many people also do not recognise are the ongoing health complications caused by the illness.
Speaking as part of National Diabetes Week, which runs from 10-16 July, Mrs Moylan said research from the Australasian Podiatry Council shows that 85 Australians lose a foot every week because of diabetic foot disease.
“One Australian living with diabetes has a lower limb amputation every two hours in Australia – that could be a toe, part of their foot, their whole foot or even their lower leg,” Mrs Moylan said.
“Tragically, an Australian with a diabetic foot ulcer dies every eight hours. This is a high cost to pay, both economically and emotionally. Lower limb amputations can cost the health system anywhere up to $100,000 per patient and in many cases it is preventable.”
The diabetes epidemic is growing by a staggering 275 new cases every day and there are 1 million Australians registered on the National Diabetes Services Scheme. For every person known to have type 2 Diabetes another is yet to be diagnosed.
The burden of type 2 Diabetes is increasing and it is expected to become the leading cause of disease burden by 2023.
“There is no cure for type 2 Diabetes, however with careful attention to diet and exercise the onset can be delayed and some of the worst complications avoided,” Mrs Moylan said.
“Prevention is the answer and now is the time to assess and reduce risks of type 2 Diabetes.”