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4914.0.55.001 - Newsletter: Age Matters, Apr 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/05/2004   
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DIABETES IN AUSTRALIA: A SNAPSHOT

The following article has been taken from Diabetes in Australia: A Snapshot (Cat. no. 4820.0.55.001) which was released on 30 April 2004.

Introduction

This article provides a brief overview of the differentials in prevalence, risk factors, actions taken after diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, and resultant conditions from diabetes mellitus, using data from the 2001 ABS National Health Survey. A study is also made of the health of persons aged 45 years and over, comparing those in the population diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, with the rest of that age group. The article also draws on data from the ABS Causes of Death collection.

Diabetes was identified as a National Health Priority Area in 1996. It is a chronic condition in which blood glucose levels become too high due to the body producing little or no insulin, or not using insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to assist the body to use glucose. Unless otherwise stated this article presents information sourced from the 2001 ABS National Health Survey (NHS).

Types of diabetes


    There are three types of diabetes:
  • Type 1, or insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (likely to develop before 18 years of age).
  • Type 2, or non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (likely to develop after 40 years of age).
  • Gestational diabetes mellitus (occurs in about 4-6% of pregnancies). In this analysis, gestational diabetes has not been discussed as it is not a long-term condition.

Prevalence
    • In 2001, 2.9% of the whole population reported that they had diabetes.
    • The prevalence of diabetes rose from 1.2% in 1989-90 to 2.0% in 1995, and to 2.9% in 2001.
    • In 2001, those reporting they had Type 1 diabetes accounted for 17% of those with long-term diabetes, those reporting they had Type 2 diabetes accounted for 78%, while 5% reported diabetes but did not know which type.
    • Based on studies comparing self-reported diabetes with medical testing for diabetes, there is evidence that for every known case of diabetes, there is one undiagnosed case (International Diabetes Institute 2001, King & Rewers 1993).

    AGE DISTRIBUTION OF PERSONS WITH DIABETES, BY TYPE, 2001
    Graph: AGE DISTRIBUTION OF PERSONS WITH DIABETES, BY TYPE, 2001



    Indigenous Australians

    In the 2001 Indigenous supplement to the National Health Survey:
    • Diabetes was reported by 5% of the Indigenous population.
    • After adjusting for age, Indigenous Australians were more than three times as likely as non-Indigenous population to have diabetes (11% compared with 3%).
    • Indigenous Australians living in remote rather than non-remote areas were approximately twice as likely to have diabetes (16% in remote areas, 9% in non-remote areas).

    PREVALENCE OF DIABETES BY INDIGENOUS STATUS AND AGE GROUP, 2001
    Graph: PREVALENCE OF DIABETES BY INDIGENOUS STATUS AND AGE GROUP, 2001


    For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Jane Griffin-Warwicke on Canberra (02) 6252 6535.

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