20 October 2023

Know your risk, Know your response is the slogan for this year’s World Diabetes Day (WDD) on 14 November.

Diabetes is a health condition of particular concern to residents in South Western Sydney, which has some of the highest diabetes rates in Australia.

WDD raises awareness of the importance of knowing your risk of type 2 diabetes to help delay or prevent the condition, and the impacts of diabetes-related complications.

It also highlights the importance of having access to the right information and care to ensure timely treatment and management.

One in 10 adults worldwide have diabetes.

More than 90 per cent have type 2 diabetes, which is preventable by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

The SWSPHN South Western Sydney Diabetes Framework to 2026 report highlighted some alarming diabetes statistics in our region.

  • In April 2019, 66,740 people living in South Western Sydney were known to have diabetes (6.9 per cent of the population)
  • By 2025, there will be up to 122,000 people in South Western Sydney living with diabetes and by 2031, up to 151,000
  • 9 per cent of all women have pre-existing diabetes or gestational diabetes during their pregnancy
  • Women with pre-existing diabetes in the Macarthur area (12.4 per cent) and Liverpool (7 per cent) were more likely to have a baby with a congenital malformation than women without diabetes (1.7 per cent)
  • Over the three years 2014-15 to 2016-17, residents of South Western Sydney had 507 diabetes-related lower limb amputations
  • Of the people hospitalised in SWSLHD in 2017-18 where diabetes was the primary cause, 1,432 were considered to be potentially preventable. These hospitalisations resulted in 9,001 bed days over the year

A person living in South Western Sydney is more likely to die from diabetes than a person living in many other parts of NSW.

In 2016, 368 South Western Sydney residents died with diabetes identified as the underlying or associated cause, a rate of 37 per 100,000 people (compared to 30.3 per 100,000 for NSW). Within South Western Sydney, people in Campbelltown, Fairfield and Liverpool have the highest rates of death from these causes.

SWSPHN has identified diabetes as a key local priority, and we are working collaboratively with all health care providers to improve the way services are provided to people with diabetes.

One of the community’s growing services is the GP-led Type 2 Diabetes Case Conferencing Day Clinics, where consultations are held with eight patients. These consultations are held in person in the presence of the GP, an endocrinologist and a diabetes educator.

The day clinic is convenient and allows for improved patient care. Patients can avoid the cost, travel, parking and long wait times to get in to see a specialist, while accessing continuity of care. GPs can learn from diabetes specialists, to upskill and broaden their experience in diabetes management.

Learn more about diabetes and diabetes management in South Western Sydney and  World Diabetes Day.