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Diabetes hits 275 Australians each day as pandemic spreads

ars:

  • People's waistlines increased on average by 2.1 cm and their weight by 1.4 kg
  • People with prediabetes* were 15 times more likely to develop diabetes than those with normal blood sugar levels
  • Obese people were 4 times more likely to develop diabetes than those with normal weight
  • People with high blood pressure were 3 times more likely to develop diabetes than those who had normal blood pressure, and
  • People who are physically inactive had twice the risk of developing diabetes than those who were active.

Professor Zimmet said, "There is no doubt that diabetes and its associated problems of heart disease, strokes, amputations and kidney failure will have a profound impact on Australia's future health budgets.

"What we have done is to quantify the risks. We now have hard data which give our Federal and State governments the first tangible indication of the size of the problem which will burden current and future generations. These data will be instrumental in establishing priorities and calculating future budgetary needs.

"The diabetes epidemic is being driven by lifestyle factors, particularly the dramatic increase in obesity, poor diet and physical inactivity ?and is already costing taxpayers over $3 billion annually. That figure will increase exponentially over time," he said.

The Institute's Deputy Director, Associate Professor Jonathan Shaw, said the latest research had given Australia more accurate information on diabetes and its consequences than that possessed by almost any other nation.

"It also gives every Australian a clear indication of the increased risk they face of developing diabetes and its appalling complications if they do not make lifestyle changes," he said.

The first stage of the AusDiab study - which was conducted in 1999/2000 and involved more than 11,000 people - provided a 'snapshot' of the nation's health. It showed that one million people h
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Source:Research Australia


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