4364.0.55.005 - Australian Health Survey: Biomedical Results for Chronic Diseases, 2011-12  
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Contents >> Diabetes >> Diabetes management


DIABETES MANAGEMENT

Glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) is used to measure how well a person is managing their diabetes. This test gives an indication of the person's average blood glucose levels over the previous three months. The optimum management target for HbA1c for people with diabetes is a level of 7.0% or less. Maintaining this level decreases a person's risk of developing a range of complications from their diabetes, including problems with their circulation, kidneys, eyes and feet, and lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke. There is also a range of other optimum targets for diabetes management, including those for cholesterol levels, Body Mass Index (BMI) and blood pressure.1 These are listed in the Data source and definitions box below.

    Data source and definitions

    In the National Health Measures Survey (NHMS), information on diabetes management is presented for those with known diabetes. See the Measuring diabetes - definitions section for information on how this population is defined. The information in this section is based on fasting plasma glucose results only. Information on diabetes management using glycated haemoglobin (commonly referred to as HbA1c) test results is shown in Table 14 on the Downloads page of this publication.

    Goals for optimum diabetes management, as defined by the 2012–13 Diabetes Management in General Practice Guidelines1, are as follows:
    • Fasting blood glucose levels between 4.0–6.0 mmol/L
    • HbA1c levels less than or equal to 7.0%
    • Total cholesterol less than 4.0 mmol/L
    • HDL 'good' cholesterol greater than 1.0 mmol/L
    • LDL 'bad' cholesterol less than 2.0 mmol/L
    • Non-HDL-C cholesterol less than 2.5 mmol/L
    • Triglycerides less than 2.0 mmol/L
    • Albumin creatinine ratio (a test relating to level of kidney damage) less than 3.5 mg/mmol for women and less than 2.5 mg/mmol for men
    • Blood pressure less than or equal to 130/80 mmHg
    • 'Normal' Body Mass Index (i.e. a BMI score of between 18.0 and 24.9)
    • Non-smoker
    • Alcohol intake less than or equal to 2 standard drinks per day*
    • At least 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days per week*

    *Note information on alcohol and physical activity targets have not been included in this release, as data for these variables are not available for all persons in the NHMS. However, this information can be sourced from the National Health Survey component and will be available at a later date.

In 2011–12, over half (55.7%) of people aged 18 years and over with known diabetes were effectively managing their condition, that is, they had an HbA1c test result of 7.0% or less. Older people were more likely than younger people to meet the HbA1c target, with 70.4% of those aged 75 years and over meeting the target. Overall, there was no significant difference in HbA1c levels between males and females.

Graph Image for Persons aged 18 years and over - People with known diabetes meeting the HbA1c management target, 2011-12(a)

Footnote(s): (a) HbA1c levels less than or equal to 7.0%.

Source(s): Australian Health Survey: Biomedical Results for Chronic Diseases



Controlling other aspects of health, such as cholesterol and blood pressure, is also important for effective diabetes management. Among those with known diabetes in 2011–12, 37.9% met the management target for total cholesterol and 37.2% met the target for blood pressure. The majority of those with known diabetes met the management targets for triglycerides (70.0%) and albumin creatinine ratio, which measures levels of kidney damage (71.1%).

The diabetes management guidelines also outline optimum targets for health behaviours. While the majority of people with known diabetes met the management target for smoking in 2011–12 (85.6% were non-smokers), only 12.8% met the target for a normal Body Mass Index (i.e. a BMI score of between 18.0 and 24.9).

Graph Image for Persons aged 18 years and over - People with known diabetes meeting selected management targets, 2011-12


For more information on diabetes management, see Table 13 on the Downloads page of this publication.
ENDNOTES

1 Diabetes Australia, August 2012, Diabetes Management in General Practice. Guidelines for Type 2 Diabetes. <http://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/Documents/DA/What's%20New/12.10.02%20Diabetes%20Management%20in%20General%20Practice.pdf>, Last accessed 20/06/2013. Back to top


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