Media releases

January 4, 2007

Make tackling diabetes your goal for 2007

For most Australians the summer festive season is associated with indulging in the finer things in life - good food and relaxation, and for most of us a few days or weeks of this sort of lifestyle is okay.

As ever though, too much of a good thing can cause problems, and for many people overindulgence and sedentary behaviour are leading to major health problems in the form of diabetes.

Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic disease in Australia. The International Diabetes Institute (IDI) estimates diabetes affects an estimated 7.4% of the Australian adult population, and this number is growing rapidly.

According to IDI every day in Australia approximately 275 adults develop diabetes.

For the growing number of people in Australia living with type 2 diabetes improved management of their disease could change their quality of life.

This summer, Australia's largest health fund, Medibank Private is calling on members with diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes, to take steps to protect their health now, and into the future, by joining a diabetes intervention program.

The program, called the 'Medibank Private On Track Program', run by Medibank Private, and coordinated by IDI, has shown that an increased awareness of the disease teamed with small changes can have a significant impact on the health of those with diabetes.

Results from a pilot program showed statistically significant improvements in diabetes control and other cardiovascular risk factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure levels and weight in the 485 participants.

Medibank Private estimates that approximately 130,000 of its members over 25 have type 2 diabetes, 50% of these people may be undiagnosed and not yet aware of their condition.

According to Medibank Private's Health Development Manager, Julie Andrews, this is precisely why it is time for the fund to issue a rallying call. "There are pay-offs for the individual, the health fund, and the community if we can work with members to mitigate and improve the management of conditions such as diabetes," she said.

Participants in the 'On Track' program are sent a diabetes passport to remind them of and record the appropriate routine checks from their GP. The passport also contains valuable information about management and monitoring of diabetes and associated risks.

People with diabetes who are interested in enrolling in the Medibank Private On Track Diabetes Program can call 1800 817 635 or email Ontrack Diabetes. Or visit online at Ontrack Diabetes.


For further information please contact:
Libby Woolnough - Medibank Private
T. (03) 8622 5181 or 0411 659 060

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