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About the Endocrine Network

The Endocrine Network aims to improve outcomes and services for patients with endocrine disorders such as diabetes by assisting clinicians to develop best practice guidelines and Models of Care for the treatment and management of these patients. The development, endorsement and implementation of these resources involves consultation with clinicians throughout the care continuum from primary health care sector and general practice through to inpatient areas and consumers.

Diabetes and obesity

Diabetes is Australia’s fastest growing chronic disease and occurs when the body does not make insulin or when the insulin that is made is not working properly.

There are two kinds of diabetes – type 1 and type 2. In type 1 diabetes the pancreas does not produce any insulin and in type 2 the pancreas produces only a limited amount of insulin. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease and is not caused by lifestyle factors. Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes and although it usually affects mature adults, more young people, and even children, are being diagnosed.

These patients may also develop or be at increased risk of hypertension, vascular disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke, renal disease and some cancers.

More than 40 per cent of Australians are classified as overweight; this condition is on a continuing upward trend. The Australian Bureau of Statistics National Health Survey identified:

  • 42.1% of adult males and 30.9% of adult females are classified as overweight (Body Mass Index between 25.0 and 30.0 kg/m2).
  • 25.6% of males and 24% of females are classified as obese (Body Mass Index > 30.0 kg/m2).  (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2008, National Health Survey 2007-08, Cat 4364.0).

People living with obesity are at increased risk of type 2 diabetes as well as the other diseases linked to type 2 diabetes. These include cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnoea, osteoarthritis, psychological problems and reproductive problems for women.

Our People

Stephen Twigg

Stephen Twigg, Co-Chair
Senior Staff Endocrinologist
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Sydney Local Health District

Jan Alford

Jan Alford, Co-Chair
Nursing Unit Manager, Diabetes Centre
St Vincents Hospital
St Vincents Hospital Network

The ACI Endocrine Network is led by an executive committee, which includes doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and consumers from each of its six working groups – Rural and Indigenous, Obesity, Models of Care, Inpatient Hyperglycaemia, Diabetic Foot, Diabetes in Pregnancy and Diabetes and Mental Health.

The network has more than 360 members and includes many clinicians, consumers and representatives from Diabetes NSW, the Australian Diabetes Society, the Australian Diabetes Educators Association, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, all local health districts, specialty network governed health corporations, the NSW Ministry of Health, Clinical Excellence Commission and the Cancer Institute NSW.

Background

The ACI Endocrine Network was established in 2007 by the ACI’s forerunner - the Greater Metropolitan Clinical Taskforce.