In 2004-05, 3.6% of the Australian population, approximately 700,000 persons, reported that they had diabetes. This figure has gone up. The estimated number of Australians with diabetes will be 1.23 million by the year 2010.
Statistics show that the prevalence of diabetes is higher among people born overseas compared with people born in Australia (AIHW 2003). ABS data shows that in 2004-05, among persons born overseas, rates of diabetes were highest for persons born in Southern and Central Asia (8.7%), North Africa and the Middle East (6.6%), South East Asia (5.7%) and Southern and Eastern Europe (4.9%) (after adjusting for age differences). By comparison, the rate of diabetes for persons born in Australia was 3.3% (ABS 2006).
The increasing cases of diabetes amongst Lebanese people are also a cause of worry. Sydney is host to a large number of Lebanese people, migrated to the country, hence the city, in search of better job opportunities living standards. There are many studies indicating increased prevalence of diabetes mellitus in these families. These have been ascribed to hereditary factors, food habits, prevalence of metabolic syndrome, and increased consanguinity over many generations (Abou-Daoud, 1969). Acculturation is a social phenomenon where family values tend to play important roles, and social and cultural factors related to the immigrant race determine the patterns of acceptance or resistance of newer cultural norms (Bhugra, 2004). This means community, family and social life will have an important impact of the disease on the family and quality of life of the individual (Dept Human Services (Vic), 2004). Diabetes in any population is associated with increased mortality, morbidity, economic, cultural, and social impacts on the person, family, relations, and the community (Zalloua, 2003). Therefore exploration into these factors can discover the qualitative indicators that are