[singlepic id=206 w=320 h=240 float=left]Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt is encouraging residents to think about their risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes this National Diabetes Week (11 -17 July 2010).

Mr Pitt said diabetes was the fastest growing chronic disease in the state, with more than 250,000 Queenslanders living with the disease.

“In 2007 it was estimated 50 new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in our state each day, but if current trends persist, by 2031 this number is expected to have tripled to about 160 new diagnoses each day.” Mr Pitt said.

According to Diabetes Australia Queensland, it is estimated there are currently 7,800 Cairns residents who have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes – however, research suggests that for every person diagnosed , there is another living with the disease without knowing they have it.

Mr Pitt said Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have one of the highest rates of Type 2 Diabetes in the world, and are more than three times as likely to suffer from some form of diabetes.

“Type 2 Diabetes is almost twice as prevalent among Indigenous Australians living in remote areas compared with those living in non-remote areas. Among Torres Strait Islanders, the prevalence of diabetes is six times higher than that of the Australian population,” Mr Pitt said

“Diabetes accounts for more than three times the proportion of deaths among Indigenous people as non-Indigenous people. Nationally, the hospitalisation rate for diabetes is seven times higher among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than for other Australians.

“This year’s National Diabetes Week theme is Don’t be the type to leave it too late which highlights the serious complications of diabetes and what can be done to prevent it.

“Poor nutrition, physical inactivity, alcohol misuse and obesity are four common underlying lifestyle and behavioural risk factors that contribute to diabetes.”

Mr Pitt said a key theme of this year’s National Diabetes Week was that it is never too late to engage in healthy eating patterns and physical activity to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

“The Bligh Government is committed to their Toward Q2 target of making Queenslanders Australia’s healthiest people,” Mr Pitt said.

“One of the Government’s specific Toward Q2 targets is to cut obesity by one third.

“It’s so important to remember that Type 2 Diabetes is preventable through lifestyle modification and self management approaches.”

Mr Pitt said leading a healthy lifestyle would not only help prevent diabetes itself, but would also reduce the chances of developing other serious complications associated with diabetes.

“Associated complications include chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, blindness and lower limb amputation,” Mr Pitt said.

“I encourage residents to log on to the Diabetes Australia Queensland ‘Are you at risk’ website www.areyouatrisk.com.au and do a simple risk assessment to find out if they are at low, intermediate or high risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

“If people are at all concerned about their risk of developing diabetes, they should contact their GP and arrange a check-up.”

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