World Diabetes Day: Mandurah diabetes rates top the state, residents reminded to take care of their health

Residents in the Peel region are being urged to put their health first as part of World Diabetes Day.

Held on November 14 every year, the day aims to raise awareness about the fastest growing chronic condition in the world, and encourage everyone to have their regular health checks.

The message could not be more clear for people living in Mandurah - where the disease is the most prevalent in Western Australia according to data from the National Diabetes Services Scheme.

Six per cent of the Mandurah population are living with type 2 diabetes, closely followed by Pinjarra at 5.6 per cent.

The statistics are well above the state average of 4.3 per cent, which has increased from 3.8 per cent over the past six months, and the national average of 4.1 per cent.

On average, 28 West Australians are diagnosed with diabetes each day.

However, for every one of the 129,000 people living with diabetes throughout the state, there is expected to be another person living with the condition undiagnosed.

The theme of this year's World Diabetes Day is 'Family and Diabetes' with a focus on encouraging those who support people living with diabetes to attend a workshop with them.

That way, they can find out more about how to support their loved one.

Figure: Diabetes WA.

Figure: Diabetes WA.

Type 2 diabetes, for which there is no cure, occurs when the body produces insulin, but the insulin is ineffective, or there is not enough insulin, or both.

Many people may not have any of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes or may not recognise the symptoms.

Diabetes WA health services general manager, Deborah Schofield, said early diagnosis of type 2 diabetes was "very important".

Sixty per cent of people who are diagnosed early can walk away from type 2 diabetes by changing their diet and exercise routine.

Diabetes WA health services general manager Deborah Schofield

"Sixty per cent of people who are diagnosed early can walk away from type 2 diabetes by changing their diet and exercise routine," she said.

"Early diagnosis and well managed diabetes will prevent further health complications of type 2 diabetes.

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"Unfortunately, type 2 diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, kidney damage, amputation, heart attack and stroke.

"Regular physical activity, a healthy eating plan, maintaining a 'healthy waist' and stress management are the cornerstones of preventing and managing type 2 diabetes."

People living with diabetes are encouraged to access the free management workshops, advice and support available from educators at Diabetes WA.

For more information, visit the Diabetes WA website or call the helpline during weekday business hours on 1300 001 880.