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2821 diabetes sufferers – that’s not healthy

It’s National Diabetes Week and making a change for the better is easy with fresh fruit and veg.
It’s National Diabetes Week and making a change for the better is easy with fresh fruit and veg. Eduard Titov

THE statistics are frightening - 2821 diabetes sufferers, 2357 hospital bed days devoted to their care and at least 700 patients missing out on education on the disease.

But health professionals hope to turn the Gladstone figures around.

At least 4.87% of the Gladstone population has the disease and with 39% of central Queenslanders considered obese, it's going to be an up-hill battle.

Gladstone Hospital executive director Dr Nicki Murdock said education was the key to lowering diabetes rates.

"Gladstone Hospital cared for people with diabetes for 2357 bed days from June 2013 to May 2014," she said.

"The increasing obesity rate is the single largest driver of the increase in type 2 diabetes, along with physical inactivity.

"Local health professionals and managers are concerned about all conditions which lead to ill-health and we will continue to look at how we can help people with chronic conditions."

Central Queensland Hospital and Health last year launched the Healthier. Happier Campaign to encourage people to evaluate their lifestyle and the impact their habits may be having on their health, Dr Murdock said.

"The campaign helps people to make small changes to their lifestyle every day to achieve a healthier and happier lifestyle."

Diabetes is under the spotlight in National Diabetes Week.

Diabetes type 2 was not a life sentence, but a wake-up call to take action, Diabetes Queensland CEO Michelle Trute told The Observer.

"If we are going to have an efficient, cost-effective public health system that benefits all Queenslanders, we need to give people with chronic, lifelong conditions like diabetes, the tools and skills they need to stay healthy and out of hospital," she said.

"Diabetes Queensland's research has found more than 25% of Queenslanders with diabetes have never received the kind of structured education required to ensure they have the skills and knowledge to manage this complex condition."

The Healthier. Happier Campaign for diabetes awareness can be found at healthier.qld.gov.au, or download the free app.

We spoke to Gladstone local Claire Mitchell about her experience with diabetes. Read more here.

Topics:  diabetes health



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