Sobering Set of Statistics: The Ages and Stages of Diabetes

Article excerpt

WORLDWIDE, the number of adults with diabetes has more than doubled over the past 30 years.

According to a study funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in conjunction with the World Health Organisation, almost 350 million people now have the fastest-growing chronic health condition.

These are sobering statistics at the time of Diabetes Awareness Week (July 14--20).

Australia is not immune to this epidemic.

More than one million Australians have been diagnosed as having diabetes; and it's estimated that at least another two million people over the age of 25 have what is known as impaired glucose tolerance or "pre-diabetes" -- putting them at greatly increased risk of diabetes.

Diabetes Awareness Week is a time when we're encouraged to become more aware of not only the extent of the disease and its complications but also the now very effective management and prevention strategies.

This year the occasion also marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Australian Diabetes Council (the ADC -- originally known as Diabetes Australia NSW) and the publication of the book Ages and Stages with Diabetes.

The ADC is the biggest not-for-profit member-based health organisation in Australia and has one of the largest diabetes memberships in the world.

As Australian Diabetes Council CEO Nicola Stokes says: "Diabetes is a condition that can affect anyone at any age or any stage in their lives -- whether you've just started school, accepted a new job, planning to travel overseas, just about to start a family or planning retirement -- and it can affect what and when you eat and even how you sleep."

The ADC book contains a wealth of tips and information for everyone with diabetes (as well as their family and friends) with topics such as helping your children with diabetes enjoy a school camp, learning to drive and getting a licence, alcohol and diabetes, pre-planning a pregnancy with diabetes, travelling with diabetes, sick day management and of course controlling those blood glucose levels. …