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Diabetes Australia’s CEO, Greg Jonhson warned recently that on current trends, diabetes is set to become the principal burden of disease in Australia in the next five years. Type 2 already costs the country AUS 14.6 billion per year. Speaking at the launched Diabetes Australia’s Diabetes Strategy and Action Plan for 2014 – to be developed and implemented by the next national government – according to Johnson, the diabetes health bill will double to AUS 30 billion in 12 years without stronger approaches to preventing the disease. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death by illness in Australia. One person is diagnosed every 5 minutes; 100,000 Australians developed diabetes in 2012.
Indigenous Australians are 10 times as likely to develop diabetes compared with other Australians. At the turn of the current century, death rates from diabetes among Indigenous Australians were almost 15 times higher than the general population.2
(1): CIA factbook
(2): WHO 2008
(3): IDF Diabetes Atlas, 5th edition annual update, 2012