Diabetes hits western regions hard

WESTERN NSW centres have some of the highest rates of type 2 diabetes in Australia.

The latest statistics, reported for the year 2007-2008, have been issued by Bowel Cancer Australia.

The Brewarrina local government area had the highest age-standardised rate of type 2 diabetes in NSW and Australia, with a figure of 6.5 per 100 of population.

Other lower-income areas with higher proportions of Indigenous residents such as Walgett, Bourke, Coonamble and Wellington, had some of the highest rates in NSW, ranging from 4.2 to 4.9 per 100 head of population.

Dubbo's rate was 3.8 per 100.

At the other end of the spectrum, the affluent Sydney areas of Mosman, Ku-ring-gai, Woollahra, North Sydney and Lane Cove had the lowest rates in NSW, recording figures between 2.6 and 2.8 per 100 population.

Type 2 diabetes was among a range of possible lifestyle risk factors that had been cross-referenced with the incidence of bowel cancer in the Bowel Cancer Australia Atlas.

According to Bowel Cancer Australia, "there is emerging evidence regarding type 2 diabetes as a potential risk factor for bowel cancer, however further research is required."

Other possible lifestyle risk factors included in the atlas were smoking, alcohol use, physical activity, obesity and fruit intake.

angela.clutterbuck@ruralpress.com

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