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Diabetes is a global epidemic.

Diabetes affects an increasing number of men, women, and children all over the world. As Lions and Leos, we see and feel the effects of diabetes in our communities and are doing something about it together.

Source: Diabetes Australia

Diabetes can lead to serious diseases affecting the heart and blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, nerves and teeth. In most high-income countries, diabetes is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower limb amputation. It is expected to affect 629 million adults by 2045.

In Australia, 280 people develop diabetes every day and around 1.7 million Australians have diabetes. This includes known diabetes diagnoses as well as silent, undiagnosed type 2 diabetes (thought to be around 500,000 people).

There are more than 4,400 amputations every year in Australia as a result of diabetes – this is the second highest rate in the developed world.

In 2005, more than 1000 people with diabetes died as a direct result of foot ulcers and lower limb wounds – around 8% of all diabetes-related deaths.

Every year there are 10,000 hospital admissions in Australia for diabetes-related foot ulcers in Australia – many of these end with people having a limb, or part of a limb, amputated.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians with diabetes are 38 times more likely to undergo a major leg amputation compared to non-Indigenous Australians with diabetes. They are also 27 times more likely to undergo a minor leg amputation. Nearly all (98%) of amputations in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are related to diabetes.

Diabetes can be managed well, but the potential complications are the same for type 1 and type 2 diabetes including heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, limb amputation, depression, anxiety and blindness.

We know that diabetes:

  • is the leading cause of blindness in working age adults
  • is a leading cause of kidney failure and dialysis
  • increases the risk of heart attacks and stroke by up to four times
  • is a major cause of limb amputations
  • affects mental health as well as physical health. Depression, anxiety and distress occur in more than 30% of all people with diabetes

However, early diagnosis, optimal treatment and effective ongoing support and management reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications.

Lions in Australia and around the world see and feel the effects of diabetes and are doing something about it together.

Our aim? To reduce the prevalence of diabetes and improve quality of life for those diagnosed.

And you can, too! For some great ideas on projects about diabetes, click here.

For more information, visit the Diabetes Foundation webpage.

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