Diabetes Epidemic in New South Wales

Figures released today by Diabetes Australia-NSW show the number of cases in NSW has reached 542,288.

NSW is suffering a diabetes epidemic, recording a 300 per cent increase in the number of people with the disease in the past 10 years.

Cases of type 2 diabetes have doubled in the past five years, with the number of children diagnosed increasing by between 5 and 10 per cent annually, the group said.

Type 2 diabetes has been called the “lifestyle disease” and is often blamed on obesity and poor diet. Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder that occurs when the pancreas is producing insulin, but the receptors are no longer responding to it. It includes 85 to 90 per cent of all diabetes cases.

The figures also showed a 3 per cent annual increase in the number of children being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, while the number of women with gestational diabetes has more than doubled in five years.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas fails to produce insulin, allowing too much glucose to accumulate in the blood.

Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy and mostly disappears after birth.

The findings were released at a diabetes summit in Sydney today, attended by public health officials, government representatives and business leaders.

Diabetes Australia-NSW president Neville Howard said the organisation hoped today’s summit would lead to co-ordinated, integrated action plans for prevention strategies, distribution of resources and new systems to beat the diabetes epidemic.

Diabetes Australia-NSW said 1.2 million Australians had diabetes, and if trends continued, 2 million would have it by 2010.

>Link [www.smh.com.au/news/science/deadly-lifestyles-diabetes-soars-in-nsw/2006/04/10/1144521243303.html]

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