Diabetes complications

Diabetes can cause many serious health complications [21078]. Some may develop soon after diagnosis while others may develop over several years. If diabetes is managed effectively this can prevent complications [25838].

The main types of complications are:

  • circulatory – affect the heart and blood vessels (such as heart attack and stroke)
  • renal – affect the kidneys (such as kidney failure)
  • ophthalmic – affect the eyes (such as diabetic retinopathy and cataracts)
  • neuropathic – damage to the nerves (can lead to amputations) [28644].

In 2012, complications from diabetes was the leading cause of death in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people [33961].


Key resources

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Janganpa Jukurrpa (Brush-tailed Possum Dreaming) by Phyllis Napurrurla Williams

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