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Diabetes In Australian children and adolescents

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25/05 '98 MON 18:01 FAS +61 2 6239 7143 __

25/05 '98 MON 14:00 FAl 81 6 2852881 DIABETES AUSTRALIA

National Dlebetes Strategy

Press Release Q b u j u u ^ (jijlSL u x ^ o u u e .

Diabetes in Australian children and adolescents

On June 3 1998 Minister for Health and Family Services, the Hon Dr Michael Wooldridge will launch Australia’s National Dialetas Strategy and Implementation Plan

Diabetes is a significant and growing global health problem. It affects over 4% o f the Australian population, at lest 10% o f older people, up to 30% of some Aboriginal communities, and has a high prevalence in people from the Pacific Islands, the Middle East, Southern Europe and some Asian countries. Diabetes causes a substantial burden of illness and premature mortality and is among the

major causes o f death- In Australia it is:

• the second most common reason for commencing renal dialysis; • the most common form o f blindness in people aged lees than 60 years; • the roost common cause of blindness in people aged less than 60 years; • the most common form of non-traumatic amputation; • one o f the most chronic disease in children.

The National Diabetes Strategy and Implementation Plan has recommended that Australia conduct a national assessment of the needs of children and adolescents with diabetes. This research will develop specific guidelines and protocols cm the clinical care, monitoring, and complication screening and treatment for children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes.

• Approximately 14 pe r 100,000 children under 15 years of age develop type 1 diabetes each year. • hi NSW foe incidence of type 1 diabetes has increased over the past 5 years from 17.1 to 21.6 per 100,000. i·

• Up to the age o f 20 y ears approximately 1 in 1,500 people has type l diabetes. • Beta, cell destruction is more aggressive in this age group compared m adults. • Almost all children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes will develop some evidence of diabetes complications as adu.ts. • Type 2 diabetes is emerging as a problem among adolescence in Indigenous Australians and in

other high-risk populations. • Psychosocial and physiological differences at various stage» of growth and development present special challenges in oaring for children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes. • Children and adolescent» should have access to care by a specialist interdisciplinary team. • Schooling can also present additional problems for children and adolescents with diabetes. • The transition from a paediatric to an adult service for the adolescent with diabetes is often

difficult, the effect is not well understood and frequently underestimated and needs to be carefully managed-Rescarch efforts will focus on:

• The prevention and. cure o f type 1 diabetes; • Prevention and reduction o f complications of diabetes; • Reducing the impact of diabetes on quality of life;

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