Diabetes research changing lives 14 November 2023 Diabetes Australia has called for more funding for diabetes research, launching a new campaign on World Diabetes Day to raise awareness of the critical role diabetes research plays in saving and changing people’s lives. Speaking on World Diabetes Day (November 14), Diabetes Australia Group CEO Justine Cain said a decline in diabetes research funding was deeply concerning. Funding for diabetes research in Australia has slumped 35% over the past 10 years, yet there has been a 32% increase in people living with diabetes over the same period. “We must change that. Research is critical in our fight to drive change to prevent, treat and, ultimately, cure diabetes.” “Diabetes research creates hope for the future,” Ms Cain said. Ms Cain said latest figures revealed the diabetes epidemic shows no signs of slowing. According to Diabetes Australia’s 2023 Snapshot: Diabetes in Australia report, also released on World Diabetes Day, at the Australian Centre for Accelerating Diabetes Innovations (ACADI) partnering summit in Melbourne, there were at least 114,000 people diagnosed with diabetes last year – that’s more than 300 people every day. “Figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show more than one in 10 hospital admissions is diabetes-related, and several studies have shown that one in three people who are in hospital have diabetes,” Ms Cain said. “Diabetes is the leading cause of preventable blindness in working age Australians, preventable amputations, end-stage kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease. It also increases a person’s risk of stroke by 1.5 times. “Diabetes research must be at the forefront of our response to the Diabetes Epidemic. That’s why we have launched our new Diabetes Research Changes Lives campaign. “We want to highlight the life-changing and life-saving impact diabetes research has had, and continues to have, on the lives of people with diabetes. We also want to highlight the critical need for more funding to ensure Australia’s world-class diabetes researchers can continue their vital work to create hope for the future. ACADI Director Professor Elif Ekinci said as part of the summit, the centre is hosting a health tech innovation event. “Supporting new and emerging research is critical in our efforts to reduce the prevalence and impact of diabetes and events like this Summit help us do that,” Prof Ekinci said. Diabetes Australia is encouraging community members to support a petition to call for more research funding and to share the ‘Diabetes Research Changes Lives’ campaign over the coming months. Members of the community can also support diabetes research by making a donation. Find out more about how to support us. Background National Health and Medical Research Council data shows that in 2013, diabetes research attracted $65.2 million for research compared to $42.3 million in 2022, a drop of 35.1%. According to National Diabetes Services Scheme figures, in 2013 there were about 1.1 million people living with diabetes in Australia, compared with more than 1.5 million people in 2023.