Diabetes rife in Yarra Ranges

Monday, June 26, 2017

People with or at risk of developing diabetes are being urged to seek professional assistance as rates of the condition continue to climb in the local community.

“Diabetes is a serious condition. Between 2008 and 2013, it contributed to 8 per cent of all deaths in the Yarra Ranges – a higher rate than deaths due to traffic accidents*,” Jennifer Williams, Diabetes Educator at Healesville Hospital and Yarra Valley Health.

With 4.2 per cent of residents in the Yarra Ranges registered as having diabetes, it is an epidemic that health professionals are increasingly concerned about.
While the overall statistic is lower than the state-wide average of 5.2 per cent, the prevalence of diabetes has risen by 92 per cent between 2008 and 2017 in the hills and urban area, including Upwey. Menzies Creek and Selby have seen an 85 per cent increase, while the Patch, Lilydale, Mt Evelyn and Mooroolbark have all seen substantial increases since 2008**.

People with diabetes are three times more likely to develop kidney damage. Eastern Health has seen the number of renal dialysis patients with type 2 diabetes double in the past eight years.

“Prevention is better than a cure. While we have a fantastic new hospital facility with local access to renal dialysis – we’d prefer people access the preventative services we have available to avoid their condition progressing and impacting their quality of life,” Ms Williams said.

Healesville Hospital and Yarra Valley Health have a range of services available, including diabetes educators, dietitians and podiatrists who can provide assistance and treatment.

Healesville Hospital and Yarra Valley Health’s Healthy Living and Diabetes team will be hosting free supermarket tours at Healesville Coles on Tuesday 11 June at 9:30am and 10:30am.

Local residents are also invited to attend a healthy morning tea on Friday 14 July at 10:30am at Healesville Hospital and Yarra Valley Health to meet the team.

To book go to or call Jenny Williams on 1300 130 381.

*Data from Health Status in Yarra Ranges Fact Sheet, Yarra Ranges Council, March 2013
** Data from National Diabetes Services Scheme and Diabetes Australia -