The western region of Melbourne has one of the highest rates of diabetes mellitus in the country. One third of all inpatients of Western Health have diabetes, predominantly Type 2. Gestational diabetes is also very common affecting nearly 20 per cent of all pregnant women treated here. Western Health also cares for many people with Type 1 diabetes and unfortunately every year nearly 100 episodes of life-threatening diabetic ketoacidosis are managed in these patients. Our research activities focus therefore is predominantly on diabetes.

Our future research projects (in partnership with NWPHN) include:

  • A safe discharge project from clinic back to their GPs for patients of the Western Health Diabetes clinic;
  • Assessment of the metabolic and bone health effects of Androgen Deprivation therapy in males with prostate cancer;
  • Investigating the glycaemic impact of glucocorticoid treatment in medical inpatients.


  • Psychosocial Factors in Patients Presenting with Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Researchers: A/Prof Shane Hamblin, Dr Sylvia Xu, Dr Azni Abdul-Wahab and Cheryl Steele
Collaborator: Grey Searle

This project examines the prevalence of depression and diabetes distress and social factors (eg unemployment prevalence) in patients admitted with life-threatening diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). By understanding the drivers behind our high rates of DKA we hope to be able to reduce overall presentations of this life threatening condition.


  • The Effect of Betamethasone on Blood Glucose in Pregnant Women With and Without Gestational Diabetes

Researchers: Dr Christopher Yates, Dr Amy Harding, Dr Anna Watts, Dr Ellissa McNamara and Cheryl Steele

Betamethasone is commonly given to pregnant women towards the end of pregnancy to help fetal lung maturation before delivery. However, this drug also elevates maternal blood glucose which may have deleterious effects on the fetus. This study uses continuous glucose monitoring technology to examine the extent of beta-methasone induced maternal hyperglycaemia and the effect of insulin dosing strategies used in clinical practice. The study aims to develop better insulin dosing strategies to optimise blood glucose control in pregnant women thereby minimising adverse effects on the baby



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