1.2 million Aussies living with type 2 diabetes unaware of life-threatening complications of kidney disease and heart failure 20 November 2020 A new survey released today reveals that Australians living with type 2 diabetes are not aware of the severe impact of chronic kidney disease, despite one in two people with diabetes developing chronic kidney disease.3 Research also revealed low awareness of heart failure1 even though people living with diabetes are almost 28%4 more likely to die from the condition. More education and support needed for Australians living with type 2 diabetes on the threat posed by complications: About one in two people with diabetes will develop chronic kidney disease3, yet, a staggering 40% of people with diabetes do not know or are unsure of what the condition is. Furthermore, 20% of people living with type 2 diabetes do not know or are unsure of what heart failure is.1Aussies complacent to threat of type 2 diabetes, despite 1.2 million people living with the condition:5 Just a third (35%) are worried about developing the condition, prompting calls for greater awareness and education amongst the Australian public.1Diabetes Australia launches new awareness campaign to drive greater understanding, early detection, and education: ‘If I Had Known’ features real stories from real people explaining what they wished they’d known when they were first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The campaign is supported by Kidney Health Australia. Diabetes Australia has launched the ‘If I Had Known’ campaign to raise awareness about type 2 diabetes, and the fact many people do not realise the serious and potentially fatal complications associated with the condition. The campaign coincides with a new national survey of 1,000 Australians living with type 2 diabetes commissioned by Diabetes Australia and Kidney Health Australia. One in two people with diabetes will go on to develop chronic kidney disease. The new research demonstrates that 40%1 of people who live with type 2 diabetes are unaware of what chronic kidney disease is. Similarly, Australians who live with diabetes are more than 28% more likely to die from heart failure, and yet the new research found that 20% don’t know what heart failure is. Type 2 diabetes impacts 1.2 million Australians, but only a third of the general community admit to being worried about developing the condition. Diabetes Australia, CEO, Greg Johnson says the ‘If I Had Known’ campaign is a reminder for all Australians, especially people living with type 2 diabetes, to be aware of the serious complications of the condition. “This campaign gives a voice to real people, real Australians impacted by type 2 diabetes to share their experiences of living with the condition and its complications, at the point of diagnosis, and beyond,” said Professor Johnson. “Our research shows there needs to be a greater focus on educating and supporting people living with type 2 diabetes to be aware of the seriousness of the condition and the need to act early, get the right support and manage the condition, to reduce the risk of complications down the track.” “Australians living with type 2 diabetes face many barriers to best managing their condition, including lack of information about the seriousness of the condition – and that is why we are launching ‘If I Had Known’ today to inspire action, and to help people living with type 2 diabetes to be proactive in seeking the best possible treatment plan, and the optimal healthcare team for their individual needs,” Professor Johnson continued. ‘If I Had Known’ follows the launch of Kidney Health Australia’s recent #nofilter campaign, which highlights the realities of living with end-stage kidney disease – a fatal complication of type 2 diabetes. The #nofilter campaign provided an unfiltered look at life with kidney failure to encourage Australians to understand and check their risk factors for chronic kidney disease, such as diabetes, and seek a kidney health check from their GP. “It’s worrying to hear that less than half of people living with type 2 diabetes recognise chronic kidney disease as a complication, despite diabetes being the leading cause of chronic kidney disease. Through our #nofilter campaign, and supporting Diabetes Australia’s campaign, we hope to educate more Australians about the risk of chronic kidney disease, and that if caught early enough, progression of the disease can be slowed or even stopped,” says Chris Forbes, CEO, Kidney Health Australia. The ‘If I Had Known’ campaign’ features real stories from people talking about what they wish they had known about type 2 diabetes. The campaign encourages people to engage with their diabetes health team as soon as they are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and throughout their care. If the condition isn’t well managed, it can lead to serious complications. If you already live with type 2 diabetes, you should have a Kidney Health Check every year as well as regular heart health checks. To find out more about Diabetes Australia’s ‘If I Had Known’, follow the link here: www.ifihadknown.com.au. To find out more about Kidney Health Australia’s #nofilter campaign, follow the link here: www.kidney.org.au/nofilter. ENDS This press release has been distributed by LIFE Agency on behalf of Diabetes Australia and Kidney Health Australia About the Survey The consumer survey was conducted by independent research house PureProfile amongst a nationally representative sample of 1,015 Australians living with type 2 diabetes, as well as 1,003 Australians not living with type 2 diabetes. The survey was conducted on behalf of Diabetes Australia and Kidney Health Australia. Media Contact Mike Lane, M: 0409666022, E: [email protected]Bridget Smith, M: M: 0429 199 735, E: [email protected]Maria O’Sullivan, M: 0434 801 485, E: [email protected] References Diabetes Australia, Kidney Health Australia, General Population and Type 2 Diabetes Community Survey, PureProfile, 2020.Baker IDI. Diabetes: The silent pandemic and its impact on Australia. Available here: https://static.diabetesaustralia.com.au/s/fileassets/diabetes-australia/e7282521-472b-4313-b18e-be84c3d5d907.pdf. Last accessed: October 2020.Thomas MC et al. 2006. The burden of chronic kidney disease in Australian patients with type 2 diabetes (the NEFRON study). Med J Aust 2006; 185 (3): 140-144.Kamalesh M & Cleophas TJ. 2009. Heart failure due to systolic dysfunction and mortality in diabetes: pooled analysis of 39,505 subjects. J Card Fail. 15(4):305–9.National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS). Type 2 Diabetes. Available here: https://www.ndss.com.au/wp- content/uploads/snapshots/2020/ndss-data-snapshot-202006-type2-diabetes.pdf. Last accessed: October 2020.