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Diabetes – A global health concern

Research News
Wednesday, April 6, 2016 - 3:45pm
Diabetes a global health concern
Every year, the World Health Organization selects a priority area of global public health concern as the theme for World Health Day, which falls on 7 April each year. In 2016, diabetes has been recognised as a chronic disease impacting the lives of Australians and millions of people worldwide.

Diabetes is a metabolic disease characterised by high levels of blood glucose that over time can lead to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves.

Type 1 diabetes (formerly called insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes) is the most frequent among children and adolescents and results when the pancreas loses its ability to make the hormone insulin. In type 1 diabetes, the person's own immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Once those cells are destroyed, they won't ever make insulin again.

According to a major new study from the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, type 1 diabetes takes around 12 years off a person’s life. The shocking toll of the condition, which 78,000 children worldwide are diagnosed with every year, has not improved since the 1990s.

The Murdoch Children's Diabetes Group work closely with The Royal Children's Hospital diabetes clinics to provide primary care for approximately 1500 Victorian children with type 1 diabetes. 

The research group forms part of the Centre for Hormone Research at the Institute, and has an active diabetes research program which aims to address the day-to-day needs of the clinic’s patients and the broader community of children with diabetes.

In particular, the group’s research efforts over the last five years have focused on the impact of diabetes on the developing brain, mental health and quality of life. The group has also been actively involved in clinical outcome, epidemiologic and pre-diabetes intervention studies.

The group’s main aim is to conduct high-quality research projects. Completed research projects go on to provide new treatments and more support for our children and can change clinical practice worldwide. Funding for grants is limited and extremely competitive with the life-saving work relying on additional support from the community through volunteering of time and services or participating in our fundraising and public awareness events such as the Hearts and Minds Ball.

This year the Hearts and Minds Ball will be held on Saturday 7th May with proceeds from this special event supporting our vital research into diabetes to enrich the lives of children who live with the condition.

Click here to get your hands on tickets by April 22nd and back this worthwhile research.