76% rise in diabetes
IN 2001, there were 2409 people in the Coffs Harbour area diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
In 2006, that number had risen 76 per cent to 4248.
And despite an increase in awareness on how the disease can be prevented, there is no real sign that the epidemic is slowing.
Alarmingly, these figures most likely underestimate the seriousness of the picture because they are based on people already diagnosed, and studies show that for every person who has type 2 diabetes, another has the disease but does not know it.
Type 2 diabetes can lead to blindness, amputation and strokes.
Dr Neville Howard, president of Diabetes Australia (NSW), said the latest figures showed the state had not made a dent in the diabetes epidemic.