Broader Approach Recommended For Indigenous Australians With Type 2 Dia

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6th November 2009, 01:21pm - Views: 996





M   E   D   I   A          R   E   L   E   A   S   E

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Unit 17K, 2 King Street, Deakin  ACT  2600 / PO Box 324, Curtin  ACT  2605    

Tel:  (02) 6232 5480    Fax:  (02)  6232 5484








Media Release 








November 6, 2009


BROADER APPROACH RECOMMENDED FOR 

TREATING INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS WITH TYPE 2 DIABETES


New treatment guidelines recommending a broader approach to the treatment of Aboriginal and

Torres Strait Islander Australians with type 2 diabetes are currently being relayed to rural and

remote health practitioners around Australia to help address the alarming incidence of the

disease.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians currently have the fourth highest rate of type 2

diabetes in the world and it is estimated that between 10 and 30 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres

Strait Islanders have the disease – a figure which is around four times higher than that for non-

Indigenous Australians.


Chief Executive Officer of the Rural Health Education Foundation, Don Perlgut, says the new

treatment and management guidelines for type 2 diabetes with respect to Indigenous Australians

is the focus of the final program in a four part series developed by the Rural Health Education

Foundation to be broadcast by satellite and web-cast live around Australia on November 10.


This program will be introduced by the Hon Warren Snowdon, MP, Minister for Indigenous Health,

Rural and Regional Health and Regional Services Delivery.


Dr Alex Brown, Head of the Centre for Indigenous Vascular and Diabetes Research for the Baker

IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Alice Springs, says type 2 diabetes represents a major public

health problem for Indigenous Australians because of the much earlier age of onset within the

population. 


He says: “However, if rural and remote health practitioners can be updated about new treatment

guidelines which can improve outcomes for Indigenous Australians, this can help prevent

complications such as a higher risk of heart attack or stroke, eye disease, kidney disease and

nerve damage, which may result in traumatic injury, infection and possible limb amputation.”


Dr Brown adds that the risk of developing diabetes related complications also results in a

significant burden of disease in terms of mortality, hospitalisations and a range of financial and

human costs.

 

Death rates in Indigenous communities are believed to be up to seventeen times higher than that

of non-Indigenous Australians - mainly due to high levels of cardiovascular disease and kidney

disease associated with diabetes.


Chronic diseases such as diabetes and those related to it account for 59% of the difference in

mortality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, making it imperative for health

services, particularly in rural and remote areas to adopt a comprehensive and culturally

appropriate response to risk factors and management in primary health care. 

 

For further information go to www.rhef.com.au

A.C.N.  072 405 139        A.B.N      68  072 405 139

Unit 17K, 2 King Street, Deakin  ACT  2600 / PO Box 324, Curtin  ACT  2605    

Tel:  (02) 6232 5480    Fax:  (02)  6232 5484






-2-


The Rural Health Education Foundation’s program explores the question of how diabetes can be

prevented in Indigenous communities and the issues around diet, obesity, physical activity, poor

living conditions and low socioeconomic status. It focuses on a multidisciplinary approach to the

detection and diagnosis of diabetes. 


It also examines evidence based approaches to the management of diabetes, hypoglycaemic

control and diabetes-related complications among Indigenous Australians


The new type 2 diabetes treatment and management guidelines match recommended patient

treatment with the latest evidence and research and have been endorsed by the National Health

and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and funded by the Australian Government Department

of Health and Ageing.


The series of four programs on the new Guidelines are broadcast by satellite television and web-

cast by the Foundation, providing

an educational

package for all rural and remote health

practitioners which includes key practice points and goals for patient treatment. 


Each

broadcast/webcast

includes

live panel discussions

with leading clinicians in the area of

diabetes as well as filmed case studies which showcase innovative approaches to best practice

prevention, diagnosis and management of type 2 diabetes.


The final program in the series focusing on diabetes in relation to Indigenous Australians will air

on Tuesday November 10.  Following that, complete DVD copies of the whole series will be

available.


For further information go to www.rhef.com.au .


Released for the Rural Health Education Foundation by Kardan Consulting

For further media information please contact:

Karen Bristow on (02) 9967 3245 and 0414 320 146 or karen@kardan.com.au



Dr Alex Brown is available for interviews; and


CEO of the Rural Health Education Foundation, Don Perlgut is available for interviews in

relation to the work of the Foundation. 







ABOUT THE RURAL HEALTH EDUCATION FOUNDATION


The Rural Health Education Foundation is the premier body for the continuing education of rural and remote

health practitioners around Australia.


A not-for-profit independent organisation, the Foundation provides quality broadcast television programs

through part funding from the Australian Department of Health and Ageing and the voluntary participation of

Australia’s leading medical experts.


Professionals can access these programs via satellite television, the internet as web-cast, web-streamed or

podcast resources, on DVD and other television broadcast services.  Go to www.rhef.com.au 


Culture Indigenous RHEF 4 image

A.C.N.  072 405 139        A.B.N      68  072 405 139

Unit 17K, 2 King Street, Deakin  ACT  2600 / PO Box 324, Curtin  ACT  2605    

Tel:  (02) 6232 5480    Fax:  (02)  6232 5484





DIABETES FACT SHEET


(Source: Diabetes Australia)


WHAT IS DIABETES

Diabetes is a chronic disease.  This means that it lasts for a long time, often for someone's whole

life. 

For our bodies to work properly we need to convert glucose (sugar) from food into energy. A

hormone called insulin is essential for the conversion of glucose into energy. In people with

diabetes, insulin is no longer produced or not produced in sufficient amounts by the body. 

TYPE 2 DIABETES

Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes, affecting 85-90% of all people with diabetes. While

it usually affects older adults, more and more younger people, even children, are getting type 2

diabetes.

In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas makes some insulin but it is not produced in the amount your

body needs and it does not work effectively. 

Type 2 diabetes results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Although there

is a strong genetic predisposition, the risk is greatly increased when associated with lifestyle

factors such as high blood pressure, overweight or obesity, insufficient physical activity, poor diet

and the classic ‘apple shape’ body where extra weight is carried around the waist. 

While there is currently no cure for type 2 diabetes, the disease can be managed through lifestyle

modifications and medication.

CAUSE OF TYPE 2 DIABETES

While there is no single cause of type 2 diabetes, there are well-established risk factors. Some of

these can be changed and some cannot. You are at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes if you:


have a family history of diabetes


are older (over 55 years of age ) - the risk increases as we age 


are over 45 years of age and are overweight 


are over 45 years of age and have high blood pressure


are over 35 years of age and are from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander


background


are over 35 years of age and are from Pacific Island, Indian subcontient or


Chinese cultural background


are a women who has given birth to a child over 4.5 kgs (9 lbs), or had



gestational diabetes when pregnant, or had a condition known as Polycystic


Ovarian Syndrome.



SYMPTOMS OF TYPE 2 DIABETES

In type 2 diabetes, many people have no symptoms at all, while other signs are dismissed as a

part of ‘getting older’. By the time type 2 diabetes is diagnosed, the complications of diabetes may

already be present. Symptoms include: 

Culture Indigenous RHEF 5 image

A.C.N.  072 405 139        A.B.N      68  072 405 139

Unit 17K, 2 King Street, Deakin  ACT  2600 / PO Box 324, Curtin  ACT  2605    

Tel:  (02) 6232 5480    Fax:  (02)  6232 5484






Being excessively thirsty 


Passing more urine


Feeling tired and lethargic


Always feeling hungry


Having cuts that heal slowly 


Itching, skin infections


Blurred vision 


Gradually putting on weight 


Mood swings


Headaches 


Feeling dizzy


Leg cramps

PREVENTING TYPE 2 DIABETES

It is estimated that up to 60% of type 2 diabetes can be prevented. People at risk of type 2

diabetes can delay and even prevent this disease by following a healthy lifestyle. This includes: 


Maintaining a healthy weight


Regular physical activity 


Making healthy food choices


Managing blood pressure


Managing cholesterol levels


Not smoking.


Released for the Rural Health Education Foundation by Kardan Consulting

For further media information please contact:

Karen Bristow on (02) 9967 3245 or 0414 320 146


STATISTICS ON DIABETES

275 Australians develop diabetes every day. 

Diabetes is Australia’s fastest growing chronic disease.

About 890,000 Australians are currently diagnosed with diabetes. For every person

diagnosed, it is estimated that there is another who is not yet diagnosed; a total of

about 1.7 million people.

The total number of Australians with diabetes and pre-diabetes is estimated at 3.2

million. 

As the sixth leading cause of death in Australia, it is critical we take action.

Up to 60% of cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented.






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