More than a quarter of a million people are at high risk of type two diabetes across the Gold Coast, Dr Alex Douglas MP told State Parliament today.
“Those suffering from diabetes are risking their lives largely by over-eating, lack of exercise and risk taking behaviour,” he said.
“I want to create public awareness as this week is National Diabetes Week and diabetes is the fastest growing chronic disease in Australia.
“There has been a staggering 45 percent increase in the number of people on the National Diabetes Register in the Gaven Electorate in the four years to 2011.”
Queensland Health data suggests it costs $19.4 million a year for treating diabetes at Gold Coast Hospital and one in nine patients is being treated for diabetes.
“This will have a major impact on our health system and unless people understand that sixty percent of type two diabetes can be prevented, the situation will only worsen.”
Diabetes Australia says more than 260,000 people are at high risk on the Gold Coast.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Micronesian, Polynesian, Indian or African backgrounds are three times more likely to develop the disease than other Australians, and people living in low income areas and people over 45 years are also high risk.
Diabetes is now the number one cause of avoidable hospitalisations in Queensland, greater than the flu and asthma.
According to an awareness survey done in Gold Coast region, people do not consider diabetes to be a serious disease or understand that type two diabetes can be prevented through healthy diet and physical activity.