Diabetes: Every 50 minutes someone dies as a result in Austria

More than 1.15 million people in Austria suffer from diabetes or prediabetes. This number has been steadily increasing for decades. Medical experts from the Austrian Society of Diabetes (ÖGD) and disability gathered in Vienna on Thursday on the occasion of World Diabetes Day on November 14 to show how type 2 diabetes can be avoided and new ways to improve the quality of life of type 1 diabetes patients .

90 percent have type 2 diabetes

There are different forms of diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, which affects around 90 percent of patients in Austria, the effect of insulin is reduced. This can cause a number of secondary problems such as cardiovascular disease, nerve, kidney or eye damage as well as liver disease. This variant occurs mainly in people older than 45 years. Every 50 minutes someone dies in Austria as a result of diabetes, and severe progression of the disease Covid 19 is also significantly more common in diabetics.

A healthy lifestyle can prevent this

Around 350,000 people in Austria also suffer from prediabetes, the precursor to type 2 diabetes. This too can be dangerous, especially when combined with other conditions that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Despite a strong hereditary predisposition, type 2 diabetes can be effectively prevented by a healthy lifestyle – healthy nutrition, regular exercise, normal body weight and avoidance of stimulants containing nicotine significantly reduce the risk of developing the disease.

In the case of the disease, early diagnosis and early therapy are essential, explained Martin Clodi from the Hospital of the Merciful Brothers in Linz, because each individual hyperglycemia increases the risk of secondary diseases.

150 minutes of exercise per week

The high effectiveness of lifestyle therapy for type 2 diabetes was also underlined by Michael Resl, also from the Merciful Brothers in Linz. For example, just 150 minutes of exercise per week and a 7 percent weight loss can reduce the incidence of diabetes by 27 percent over 15 years. Moreover, with early therapy, a clear legacy effect can still be observed decades later, i.e. a recognizable difference compared to patients who were not treated or were treated only later.

Type 1 diabetes, on the other hand, cannot be avoided. It is an autoimmune disease that is primarily diagnosed in childhood or early adolescence. The immune system destroys the cells in the body that are responsible for producing insulin. Patients must regularly check their blood sugar, carbohydrate and insulin levels and regulate them if necessary.

Diabetes risk test

Substitution has long been very difficult, especially in young children, not least because middle-of-the-night readings are also outside the optimal range. Maria Fritsch from the Medical University of Graz presented a state-of-the-art system that uses a sensor, a pump and a smartphone app to provide the required blood values.

Finally, experts recommend that all people over 45 years of age have their family doctor determine their diabetes risk using the HbA1c test. This test was also designed for younger people, especially if they suffer from symptoms such as excessive thirst, lack of energy, weight loss or high blood pressure.

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