World Health Day highlights the impact of Diabetes and Diabetes Tasmania CEO Caroline Wells explains to David Wood If diabetes were a country it would be the world’s THIRD largest.
Also Australia recorded another grim diabetes milestone in 2015 with the number of people newly diagnosed with the condition topping 100,000 for the second year in a row, according to new figures released by Diabetes Australia.
In Tasmania that number is approximately 174 people per month diagnosed with Diabetes .
The figures were released today (April 7) as part of World Health Day, a World Health Organisation (WHO) awareness day.
This year the WHO is highlighting diabetes as the major global health challenge of the 21st century and one of the biggest threats to economies across the globe.
Diabetes Tasmania CEO Caroline Wells said that the 100,000 people diagnosed in 2015 took the total number of Australians now living with all types of diabetes to 1.2 million and that if diabetes were a country it would be the world’s 3rd largest.
These figures are in contrast to some other chronic conditions including cardiovascular disease and some cancers where we are seeing a reduction in the burden of these as prevention, treatment and management improves.
There is strong evidence that shows that a coordinated, comprehensive diabetes prevention program could help slow the diabetes epidemic. Its understood there is strong evidence that intensive lifestyle behaviour changes including alterations to diet, increased physical activity and a reduction of 5-7 per cent of body weight can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by around 60 per cent for people at high risk.
Diabetes is the biggest challenge confronting Australia’s health system and the longer we put off coordinated, comprehensive action – the more the numbers continue to skyrocket.
Although the financial costs are staggering at an estimated $14.6 billion dollars per year, the human cost is even more devastating.With Diabetes the leading cause of preventable blindness in working age Australians.
Thousands of Australians lose their sight every year and tragically 98 per cent of this is preventable, it is also the leading cause of lower limb amputation with around 70 Australians undergoing diabetes-related limb amputations every week.
These are just two of the major complications that can arise from undiagnosed and poorly managed diabetes; others that are just as serious are chronic kidney disease, stroke and heart disease. Early diagnosis, optimal treatments and effective ongoing support and management reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications.