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Diabetes Awareness Week

Media Release

15 November 2012

Diabetes Awareness Week

Diabetes Awareness Week this year is on the 13-19 November 2012.

Diabetes Awareness Week aims to raise the awareness of not only the opportunity to stay healthy in living with diabetes, but to reach those whose lifestyle choices are leading them to diabetes, or are undiagnosed.

Getting a diagnosis early is really important, as Type 2 diabetes is a manageable condition. This requires a simple blood test.

The theme for Diabetes Awareness Week 2012 is focused around diabetes and pregnancy, this year’s campaign asking New Zealanders to ‘Help our smallest Kiwis stay sweet as’.

One in 20 women has diabetes during pregnancy. This includes women with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes or who have other issues with blood glucose while pregnant (Gestational Diabetes). Every year thousands of women need specialist care and attention to help manage diabetes during pregnancy.

In Northland, this year we have been working with patients to ensure those diagnosed with gestational diabetes receive follow up following delivery. These groups of women carry a 25% risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life, so should be screened by their practice team annually.

Clinical Nurse manager Amy Savage says, only 57% of women with gestational diabetes in Northland go for follow up blood tests to diagnose and check for diabetes following delivery. This is a national issue.

“We have been working hard this year to make it easier for women to undergo post delivery blood tests and we have seen an increase in uptake, which is great. We then write to the practice team to ensure these women are followed up annually and recalled for future screening. It’s great that the specialist team have the opportunity to discuss lifestyle options during pregnancy” she adds.

While this is a serious condition, it is important to remember there is support available:
• If you are pregnant and worried about diabetes it's very important to talk to your midwife and/or doctor.
• If you have diabetes it's very important to talk to your doctor before you plan to get pregnant.


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