Free diabetes detection check at Close the Gap event in WSLHD

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Western Sydney Diabetes will be carrying out diabetes detection during celebrations for Close the Gap Day at Whalan Reserve on 22 March.

Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood, meaning the body can’t make the appropriate amount of insulin or is not effectively using the insulin it does make.

Over time high glucose levels can damage blood vessels and nerves, resulting in long term health complications including heart, kidney, eye and foot damage.

NSW Health estimates that diabetes rates in western Sydney are 13 per cent in adults and have been rising for over a decade.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are three times more likely than non-Indigenous Australians to have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a direct or indirect cause for 20 per cent of Aboriginal people’s deaths.

People who are admitted to any hospital in Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) and identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander have an average rate of diagnosed diabetes of nearly 20 per cent, compared to just 14 per cent in non-Aboriginal people.

WSD and WSLHD staff will be doing finger prick tests on Close the Gap Day to measure participant’s blood glucose levels (a HbA1c test) and detect pre-diabetes and diabetes.

All participants will be offered lifestyle change resources and those with pre-diabetes and diabetes will be given a letter and encouraged to see their regular General Practitioner (GP).

The whole process takes about 10 minutes.

WSD was established in response to the growing threat diabetes poses to our community’s health and wellbeing.

It is led by Western Sydney Local Health District and Western Sydney Primary Health Network (WentWest), Diabetes Australia and Department of Planning and Environment to address the Western Sydney diabetes hotspot.

The community is encouraged to go to their GP and get a HbA1c blood test if they:

  • Have a family history of diabetes;
  • Have an inactive lifestyle;
  • Are overweight or obese;
  • Had diabetes during a pregnancy; or
  • Have a Pacific Island, Indian subcontinent, African, Asian, South Asian, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island background.