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Meet Dr Helen Barrett and her team, Dr Barrett is an Endocrinologist with the Mater Queensland Diabetes and Endocrine Centre (QDEC), this National Diabetes Week she speaks about an exciting research projects she is working on while promoting diabetes awareness.
Dr Barrett said the impact diabetes has on the Australian health system is significant as diabetes related complications account for 10 per cent of hospital admissions.
“Diabetes alone costs the Australian healthcare system between 2-3 billion dollars each year and the numbers are rising as 6 per cent of Australian’s have type two diabetes with around 280 people newly diagnosed each day,” she said.
“It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of diabetes which can include sudden weight loss, increased thirst, frequent urination and blurred vision plus other factors can include lifestyle and family history.
“I believe it is important to raise awareness of this disease, so people understand if diabetes is picked up early it can be managed very successfully with minimal impact on a person’s overall health.”
As part of the Mater Queensland Diabetes and Endocrine Centre Dr Barrett also runs the High Risk Foot Clinic where a multidisciplinary team of specialists including podiatrists, endocrinologists, vascular surgeons and more treat diabetes related foot disease.
“We are very pleased with this service we are able to offer, it means our patients can be treated by a range of specialists in the same place at the same time,” she said.
Dr Barrett and her team are also currently studying the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on people who have diabetes to better understand how the virus impacts people with underlying health conditions.
“We are currently running a research study examining the link between diabetes and COVID-19 as people with diabetes who had the virus have typically experienced worse symptoms and have taken longer to recover,” she said.
“We believe there are strong links between the human immune response system and metabolic function. We are currently researching the immune response markers in the body and how they responded to the COVID-19 virus.”
Dr Barrett hopes this research project will help other people impacted by COVID-19 who also have diabetes in the future.
Find out more
Dr Barrett and her team from Mater Research are recruiting people who have recovered from COVID-19 who have and don’t have diabetes to be in her study, you can contact covid.diabetesStudy@mater.org.au for more information.
To find out more about the Mater Queensland Diabetes and Endocrine Centre (QDEC), you can visit the website here or call 07 3163 2500 referrals to the centre can be made through a GP.
To find out more about the Mater High Risk Foot Clinic you can visit the website here and referrals to the clinic can be made through a GP.
For more information please contact Media and Communications Officer Alyssa Kremmer on 0421 897 853 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Data sourced from Diabetes Queensland, https://www.diabetesqld.org.au/ and https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/diabetes-in-australia
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