DIABETES Australia want people to understand the very strong relationship between heart disease and type 2 diabetes; it's their number one cause of death.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports about 574,000 Australians aged 65 and over are living with mostly type 2 diabetes, which is a largely preventable condition. Men account for about 55 per cent of these reported cases while rates can increase with age with the highest prevalence reported in people aged 85 and over.

It's possible you are unaware of your risk of developing diabetes because you are currently feeling okay and there are no obvious warning signs of a possible chronic condition developing.

But, we aware; if you are over 40 and overweight, or have a family history of type 2 diabetes, you are at risk.

It's easy to find out if you are at risk by using the Diabetes Australia Risk Calculator.

Maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle, losing weight if you are above your healthy weight, modifying your diet and taking oral glucose lowering medication, can all help to reduce its impact.

"People with type 2 diabetes can reduce their risk of heart disease by losing some weight, being physically active, quitting smoking, managing high blood pressure and taking medication as prescribed," Diabetes Australia CEO Professor Greg Johnson said.

"We are asking people to Take Diabetes 2 Heart and have a serious conversation with their GP about what they can do to reduce their risk."

For more information, talk to your GP and download the Diabetes Australia Take Care of Your Heart factsheet.


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