There are alarming statistics for Territorians being four times more likely to be hospitalised with diabetes-related kidney disease than any other states in the country.
The latest data revealed by Diabetes Australia shows the NT being the worst affected health district in Australia, reporting 648 hospitalisations for diabetic kidney disease per 100,000 people.
There is a total of 10,278 hospitalisations annually in the NT for kidney disease – with the NT ranking the highest in comparison to other states and territories.
The figures also reveal 17,530 people in the NT with diabetes, with there being a lot more people who have developed the condition but who have not been diagnosed yet.
Diabetes Australia Spokesperson Sof Andrikopoulos says people living in rural and remote areas, like the NT, need services to prioritise kidney health.
“We need access to good quality care and specialist care in the NT and Aboriginal communities,” he says.
“We have an obligation to improve access to really good care and we need to make it that people living in the NT are able to get access to this.”
Sof says along with genetics, individual lifestyles and eating habits play a part in the diagnosis.
“It’s partly due to the availability of good food and nutritious food, so those processes need to be improved,” he says.
“You can’t do anything about your genetics, but you can do something about your environment and how you live and what you eat.”
From this data, Diabetes Australia is recommending investment in early detection and management would greatly improve the lives of people living with diabetes and kidney disease.