AN early detection blood test for a newly termed condition known as pre-diabetes could lead to the prevention of type two diabetes in many people.
The news, which could affect the two million Australians who are estimated to have pre-diabetes and don't know it, comes during National Diabetes Week which runs until Friday.
According to Diabetes Australia, pre-diabetes is the stage when blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of type two diabetes.
The awareness campaign Pre-Diabetes. Act Now! was launched on Monday by Minister for the Ageing Kevin Andrews.
He said the progression of the disease could be prevented or delayed by making lifestyle changes including exercise and a weight loss of between five and seven per cent.
This reduces the risk of developing type two diabetes by 60 per cent.
``The main risk factors for pre-diabetes are being overweight, over the age of 56, having a family history of diabetes and a sedentary lifestyle,'' he said.
``Awareness of your blood glucose levels is a key prevention strategy.''
Ballarat consultant dietitian and nutritionist Sue Adams, who is also a type one diabetic, said about 1.1 million Australians had diabetes.
``People should ask their doctor to do a blood glucose level test annually. If they are in the risk factor category it should every three to six months,'' she said.
``Diabetes Week is exceptionally important in raising awareness of the pre-diabetes condition. Knowing you have it sooner can prevent serious problems including stroke, heart disease and kidney disease.''
* Dr Tony Kemp will speak on blood glucose control at the Sebastopol Community Health Centre on Wednesday at 7.30pm.
For more information contact the Diabetes Australia Ballarat support group on 5338 2625.