Diabetes still on the rise

Emily SharpSound Telegraph

Since reporting the region’s alarming diabetes rates almost 12 months ago, the Telegraph has found that incidences of the condition have increased by 0.5 per cent in Rockingham, with the city labelled a hotspot by the State peak body.

Currently 6.7 per cent of Rockingham residents are living with diabetes, higher than the State average of 5.1 per cent, while the number of sufferers living in Kwinana have also increased by 0.2 per cent to 5.8 per cent.

However, there is good news with incidences of gestational diabetes decreasing by 1.1 per cent in the past 12 months to 2.4 per cent.

Diabetes WA Health Services manager Helen Mitchell said she was concerned about the high numbers in Rockingham and Kwinana, with 90 per cent of affected residents living with Type 2 diabetes.

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“A diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes is serious and can lead to life-threatening complications such as heart disease and kidney failure,” she said.

“These figures show a high number of people in Rockingham and Kwinana need support and assistance in making lifestyle changes, which will improve their health and wellbeing.

“It is important to provide support and clear actions to make healthier choices, the easier choices across the board.”

Those at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes can delay or prevent it in up to 60 per cent of cases by maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active and following a healthy eating plan.

“We are concentrating on helping residents in these areas by hosting a broad range of education sessions focusing on the prevention and self-management of type 2 diabetes, as well as providing free online health programs,” Ms Mitchell said.

For more information visit www.diabeteswa.com.au or call the Diabetes Information and Advice Line on 1300 136 588.

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