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National Diabetes Week

  • Written by Diabetes W.A.

Know your diabetes risk” is the 2021 message for Western Australians during National Diabetes Week

For Diabetes Week 2021, Diabetes WA is urging Western Australians to “know your diabetes risk” by taking these three simple steps:

  1. Use our Risk Assessment Tool on our website (diabeteswa.com.au)

  1. Learn about our FREE digital prevention programs (Let’s Prevent and Baby Steps)

  1. Call our HELPLINE on 1300 001 880 with your questions or concerns

Diabetes is Australia’s fastest growing chronic condition leading to kidney failure, loss of sight, lower limb amputations and other comorbidities if not managed. In Western Australia alone, around 140 000 people are living with diabetes with a staggering 23% increase in the last year.

Diabetes WA General Manager of Health Services Deborah Schofield says for every person diagnosed with diabetes, it is estimated another person remains undiagnosed facing even bigger risks.

“In Western Australia we are especially concerned for women and children....... women should know their risk and parents should know their children’s risk because diabetes outcomes are devastating for both.”

“Women can have undiagnosed pre-diabetes or undiagnosed type 2 diabetes before pregnancy but aren’t even aware. This can be diagnosed as gestational diabetes (GDM) when screened at 24-28 weeks of pregnancy which is way too late,” Deborah said.

Deborah shared how crucial it was for women to be equipped with diabetes risk information early when planning for a pregnancy just like understanding the importance of folate or quitting smoking, because of the dangers when not managed in time.

“GDM also puts both mothers and babies at risk of poor birth outcomes and future type 2 diabetes. When surveyed, a third of Australian women with GDM didn’t even know their risk or the risk to their children developing type 2 diabetes in the future,” Deborah said.

“This is worrying because in Western Australia, around 4000 women a year are diagnosed with GDM during pregnancy but in just one year, the numbers have increased by an alarming 27%.”

Deborah said type 2 diabetes is severely progressive in children with a higher mortality compared to adults making it critical for parents to know their children’s diabetes risk early.

“Children have higher rates of renal dialysis at an earlier age than adults with type 2 and at least 50% of type 2 children need insulin to manage their diabetes within 2 to 5 years of diagnosis,” Deborah said. “The burden of type 2 diabetes among Aboriginal children is eight times greater, particularly young girls, further increasing the intergenerational impact of diabetes”.

Media contact

Cherelle Danker 08 9436 6215


Media Opportunity – 15 July Nedlands Yacht Club

Parliamentary Secretary Simon Millman MLA (representing the Deputy Premier) is presenting Diabetes WA with a cheque in person for almost $500,000 at the Kellion Awards on Thursday 15 July to fund a health and wellness program Diabetes WA is piloting for people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. (Venue – Nedlands Yacht Club)

Each year during National Diabetes Week in July, Diabetes WA hosts the Kellions Victory Awards recognising Australians who have lived full lives with diabetes for 50, 60, 70 or 75 years and their carers who have these people through their diabetes journey.

More Facts and Statistics

Devastating outcomes of hyperglycaemia (high blood glucose levels) in pregnancy

  • Every eighth mother in WA is diagnosed with GDM

  • Hyperglycaemia in pregnancy can have devastating effects on birth outcomes like miscarriage, stillbirth, pre-term delivery and birthing very large babies putting both mother and baby at risk.

  • Exposure to high glucose levels in pregnancy puts those children at risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes continuing the cycle of diabetes throughout the generations

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and gestational diabetes

In 2016-17:

Parents should know their children’s risk because:


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National Diabetes Week

“Know your diabetes risk” is the 2021 message for Western Australians during National Diabetes Week For Diabetes Week 2021, Diabetes WA is ur...

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