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Word Count: 2,421
Indigenous populations in Australia have a significantly higher rate ofdiabetes in comparison to non-indigenous populations and the rate of thedisease in both population groups is increasing at an alarming rateDiabetes has been described as a life style disease and as indigenouspeople have transitioned from traditional to modern life styles theyare increasingly suffering the effects of modern living The serious ofthis issue for indigenous australians cannot be underestimated It hasbeen determined that in remote groups living in northwest Australia 405of all adults and almost 60 of people aged 35 years or older havediabetes Gracey 2009 p65This paper will discuss the impact of diabetes on indigenousindividuals families and communities and explore the nurses role inproviding appropriate interventions education and health care in orderto help those people living with the condition and their families Diabetes statistics in indigenous Australian populations in recent yearshas changed in two ways Since 2004 the average age at diagnosis hasdecreased and simultaneously both weight and blood pressure ofindividuals with the disease have increased Also of concern is anincreased proportion of urban indigenous infants experiencing rapidweight increase with overweight and obesity in early childhood It hasbeen shown that these conditions predispose a child to developingserious health issues including diabetes in later yearsWebster et al 2013 P 303These disturbing statistics show that the rate of diabetes is notslowing and indigenous people are at increasing risk of complications ofthe disease including death For many indigenous people diabetesremains undiagnosed until the disease process has progressedsignificantly and complications have developed This results in highermortality a greater dependence on tertiary health care and subsequentlyhigher health care costs For the indigenous individual with diabetes there is a considerableprocess to managing the disease effectively While non-indigenousAustralians experience difficulties with this transition indigenouspeople have a number of additional contributing factors that add to thechallenge of successfully managing the disease These include poordiet poverty culture and the increasing prevalence of the diseaseamongst family and communityThere
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