Western Sydney Hotspot
More than half of Western Sydney’s population is overweight and at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The red areas on the map show the odds ratio of having diabetes is 1.5 in the areas including Western Sydney.
This is much higher that the odds ratio in the blue areas, which are as low as 0.5 in the beachside and northern suburbs. This data was compiled by University of Wollongong researchers Dr Thomas Astell-Burt and Dr Xiaoqi Feng from a 45 years and up population health study.
One of the key goals of the WSD initiative is to turn the red hot-spots in our region into blue.
An extensive screening program of 4000 residents throughout Western Sydney occurred predominantly within general practice settings, during 2013-15 using the AUSDRISK assessment tool identified that up to 50% of the population were at high risk of developing the disease. This went as high as 100% in some high-risk populations.
Factors such as age, family history and place of birth can contribute to an increased risk of developing diabetes. However, some groups are at even greater risk of developing diabetes or complications from their diabetes and therefore require targeted actions.
Diabetes Prevalence in the Western Sydney Community
All these groups are strongly represented among western Sydney residents:
Type 2 diabetes is more frequent and has an earlier onset in this population.
People with mental health problems
41.6% of adults with diabetes reported having medium, high or very high levels of psychological distress.
People affected by psychotic illness
Experience a range of risk factors that place them at significant risk of developing diabetes compared to the general population.
Women in their childbearing years
The percentage of gestational diabetes in Western Sydney tends to be higher than for NSW, and it also has a high birth rate, with four out of the five local government areas having higher fertility rates than the rest of NSW.