Feature Article

Type 2 diabetes: not just a touch of sugar

Pat Phillips



Type 2 diabetes is more often than not associated with other cardiovascular risk factors; hence it is better considered a syndrome than simply a biochemical diagnosis.

Key Points

  • About one in four adult Australians have abnormal glucose metabolism: 4% have diagnosed diabetes, 4% have undiagnosed diabetes, and 16% have impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose.
  • Nearly all patients with type 2 diabetes have at least one of the following associated features: central overweight, hypertension, dyslipidaemia and/or a prothrombotic tendency.
  • A healthy lifestyle can slow the progression of impaired glucose tolerance to diabetes.
  • In the beginning, type 2 diabetes is often controllable by lifestyle change alone, but as the disorder progresses so should treatment.
  • Interventions can make a difference at all stages of the development and progression of type 2 diabetes.