Dementia Australia has joined the rest of the country in supporting National Diabetes Week. This year’s theme “It’s About Time” aims to raise awareness about the importance of early detection and early treatment for all types of diabetes.
There are an estimated 1.7 million Australians who have diabetes and Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said medical research showed possible links between type 2 diabetes and the development of dementia.
“This includes evidence that the risk of developing dementia in the general population is about 10 per cent, but for people with diabetes the risk doubles to around 20 per cent,” Ms McCabe said.
“It is not clear if the increased risk of dementia is the same for people with type 1 diabetes, but given anyone can develop dementia, reducing your risk of developing the disease is important.
“These statistics highlight the need to ensure that Australians are aware of the risks associated with type 2 diabetes, and their potential link to dementia.
“It’s important to remember that both type 2 diabetes and dementia have no known cure, and the link between type 2 diabetes and dementia is not completely understood. However there is evidence that type 2 diabetes is preventable.
“People who maintain a healthy weight, undertake regular physical activity, make healthy food choices, manage their blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and don’t smoke have a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes and could potentially reduce their risk of dementia.
“We encourage people to undertake regular health screenings with their doctor to detect diabetes-related and other health problems.”
For more information on preventative strategies you can follow to help reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and potentially delay the onset of dementia, please contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500, or visit Dementia Australia and the Diabetes Australia website.