Diabetes and Diversity
It’s scary to think that by all accounts we are in the midst of a global epidemic (yes, another one). But this one is treatable–if caught early enough–and highly preventable. It’s Diabetes, and according to Diabetes Australia, about 3.5 million Australians are suffering from the disease—many undiagnosed. Some of the most at risk groups are those born overseas. Indeed hospitalisation rates for Diabetes among people born in South-East Europe and in Africa and the Middle East were 20% higher than those born in Australia according to NHS statistics. Not exactly a warm welcome to Australia’s sunny shores.
But why is this? Unfortunately, Diabetes is not democratic and affects some ethnicities with a greater impact: Some Asian groups and Pacific Islanders are simply more likely to develop the disease than those of European descent, when exposed to a Westernized diet. Additionally, a change of eating habits, lack of resources, and a limited access to fresh food can mean more vulnerable immigrant groups have a higher rate of Type 2 Diabetes. Dramatic changes from a traditionally healthy lifestyle and diet, to the modern day dilemma of too much processed food and too little exercise, mean that many Indigenous Australians have much higher rates of Diabetes–shockingly up to 3.4 times that of non-indigenous groups in Australia. With such a health crisis on our hands, Australia’s healthcare professionals need to ensure that every Australian resident understands the importance of prevention and early diagnosis. Reaching out to non-English speaking communities is a real conundrum at times, but at Language Connect we pride ourselves on a great track record in the accurate and timely translation of health-related fact sheets, brochures, websites and studies.