One case of undiagnosed diabetes for every four diagnosed


Around one in five adults with diabetes do not know they have the condition, a new report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows.

Dr Paul Jelfs, head of the Social, Health & Labour Division at the ABS, said the results from the ground-breaking biomedical collection in the Australian Health Survey allows us to look 'under the skin' of Australians to see how healthy they really are.

"We know from our survey that around four per cent of Australian adults have been told they have diabetes. The voluntary blood test results showed that an extra one per cent had diabetes but were not previously aware of it. This suggests that there was around one newly diagnosed case of diabetes for every four diagnosed cases," Dr Jelfs said.

"The results also showed that a further three per cent of adults were at high risk of diabetes. This means that there were an extra three people at high risk of diabetes for every four people who had been diagnosed.

"In 2011–12, people who were obese had much higher rates of diabetes than other Australians. In fact, they were seven times as likely as those who were of normal weight or underweight to have the condition," Dr Jelfs said.

The results also revealed that many people with diabetes also had signs of other chronic conditions. Nearly one in four people with diabetes had albuminuria, an early indicator of kidney disease, and around half had lower than normal levels of good cholesterol.

Further information is available in Australian Health Survey: Biomedical Results for Chronic Diseases (cat. no. 4364.0.55.005) available for free download from the ABS website

Media note

When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.

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