13 July 2003
For the first time Australians are being told they can help prevent type 2 diabetes, the world’s fastest growing chronic disease, for which there’s no cure.
According to Diabetes Australia, the key to prevention of type 2 diabetes is early detection of 'pre-diabetes'. Pre-diabetes is the new term doctors are using to name the condition where blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
Many people with pre-diabetes are unaware of their condition and will be diagnosed with full-blown diabetes 5 to 10 years down the line if they don't take preventive steps to avoid progression of the pre-diabetes. Having pre-diabetes has also been shown to put a person at risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
The launch of the ‘Pre-diabetes. Act now!’ campaign by Diabetes Australia coincides with the start of Diabetes Awareness Week 2003.
Launching the campaign in Melbourne today, Minister for Ageing, Kevin Andrews, said a third or more of people with pre-diabetes may progress to type 2 diabetes but the good news was that this could be prevented or delayed by making lifestyle changes.
International studies have found that modest weight loss of 5 to 7 per cent and regular physical activity of 30 minutes 5 times a week lowered the risk of developing diabetes by nearly 60 per cent. Some people even returned their blood glucose levels to the normal range.
Mr Andrews said the main risk factors for pre-diabetes were being overweight, a family history of diabetes and a sedentary lifestyle.
With no symptoms, the only way to diagnose the condition is through a blood test.
Last Reviewed: 13 July 2003