People with diabetes are encouraged to reduce their risk of stroke

Over 1.4 million Australians who are currently known to have diabetes are being encouraged to understand and reduce their risk of stroke.

New modeling by Diabetes Australia, based on research recently published in the Medical Journal of Australia, shows almost 10,000 hospitalisations for stroke each year in Australia amongst people with diabetes, and this represents about one in every four strokes in Australia.

Diabetes Australia CEO Professor Greg Johnson said National Stroke Week (2—8 August) was an important time to remind people with diabetes about their risk of stroke and to take steps to reduce their risk.

“A stroke can have a major impact on your life. Not only are strokes a leading cause of death in Australia but strokes can also cause a range of disabilities including loss of mobility, impaired speech and cognitive problems,” Professor Johnson said.

Professor Johnson said there were simple things people with diabetes could do to reduce their risk of having a stroke.

“I’d encourage all people with diabetes to talk to their diabetes healthcare team about reducing their risk of stroke,” Professor Johnson said.

“The number one thing to do is to stay on top of your diabetes management and ensure your glucose levels are as well managed as possible.

“Blood pressure is also important. Keep it as close to target range as you can.

“Making healthy food choices, including limiting foods that are high in saturated fat and salt, as well as getting regular physical activity are very important and if you smoke this is a good week to quit.

“If your weight is above your healthy weight range, losing even a small amount of weight may help reduce your blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol levels.

“Above all talk to your GP. If you are isolating at home because of COVID, you can still make an appointment with your GP via telehealth.

“Your GP can help with weight loss, managing your blood pressure, helping you to quit smoking and there are new treatments that can also play an important role in reducing your risk of stroke and other cardiovascular conditions.”