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Diabetes in Australia in 2024

Media releases


Diabetes in Australia in 2024

Heart Foundation welcomes House of Representative’s Inquiry report and recommendations on diabetes

Media release: Thursday, July 4, 2024

Recommendations address the crucial interplay between diabetes and cardiovascular risk

The Heart Foundation is today welcoming a House of Representatives Inquiry report on diabetes for its work to help people with diabetes reduce their risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Diabetes and its complications, such as kidney disease and obesity, are well-established risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Tragically, CVD remains the leading cause of death and disability among Australians with type 2 diabetes.

The Heart Foundation is encouraged by the House of Representatives Inquiry's recognition that developing CVD or dying from it is not inevitable for people with type 2 diabetes.

Professor Garry Jennings, Chief Medical Adviser at the Heart Foundation, said the report’s recommendations were a crucial step forward in the prevention of diabetes.

“The Heart Foundation is particularly pleased with the recommendation to bring forward a review of the Australian Dietary Guidelines to better support those living with diabetes,” Prof. Jennings said.

“The report’s recommendations on clear food labelling reforms for added sugars will also empower consumers to make healthier choices.”

Prof. Jennings said the Heart Foundation looked forward to continuing its work with Government and other stakeholders to support the implementation of these recommendations.

Other positive recommendations applauded by the Heart Foundation include:

  • Introducing a graduated levy on sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • The regulation of unhealthy food marketing to children.
  • Supporting access to healthy food in all communities.
  • Developing a framework to combat unhealthy environments and promoting physical activity.
  • Exploring national screening programs for all forms of diabetes.

While the Heart Foundation endorses a national diabetes screening program, there would be clear benefits for also testing for the risk of cardiovascular disease at the same time, the most common long-term consequence of diabetes. Diabetes checks are a critical part of screening for cardiovascular disease, and the Heart Foundation is continues to call for a national targeted screening program for heart disease.

"We have many international examples where heart disease and diabetes are screened together,  as part of a national screening program. These programs have worked to improve the early detection and prevention of chronic diseases,” Prof. Jennings said.

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Last updated10 July 2024