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Diabetes Fast Turning Into A Epidemic In Australia

by Medindia Content Team on May 15, 2006 at 12:39 PM
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Diabetes Fast Turning Into A Epidemic In Australia

A national health study in Australia shows that an alarming 270 people develop diabetes every day, and it was mainly due to their lifestyle. These new figures, conducted by the International Diabetes Institute over 15 months, show 100,000 adults each year, or 275 people a day, are developing diabetes. This in turn doubles their chances of dying during the next five years.

The Federal Health Minister, Tony Abbott, who is set to release the study findings today, feels that the disease affects nearly 100,000 people every year and could cost the country billions of dollars in future health care. The research being conducted by the Melbourne-based International Diabetes Institute has also found alarming rates of obesity.

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The study, which is being funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, is a follow-up to similar research done in the year 2000, in which nearly 12,000 people were checked for diabetes. That study had found that about one million Australians had contracted the disease. Now four years later, nearly 6,000 Australians were tested, with shocking results.

Paul Zimmet, director of the International Diabetes Institute, and one of the study authors, stated that although Australia's diabetes rate was known to be high, the pace of the crisis and the number of people newly affected was a shock. He said that it is surprising, as 100,000 new cases annually is almost a population of a small city; he explained that this is the epidemic that has taken them by surprise.
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The study's co-author, Jonathan Shaw, said the results have showed younger adults were gaining weight faster than those in middle age. He explained that the average man put on 13 kilograms between the ages of 25 and 50, while the women on average gained 14 kilograms.

A spokeswoman for Mr Abbott said $500 million that has been earmarked for preventive health in last week's budget would assist the early detection of diabetes and other chronic diseases. She further stated that Medicare funding would also be extended to consultations with dieticians and exercise physiologists, but individuals also needed to take responsibility for their lifestyle.

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