4364.0.55.001 - Australian Health Survey: First Results, 2011-12  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/10/2012  First Issue
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All  
Contents >> Long-term health conditions >> Diabetes Mellitus


Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition where insulin, a hormone that controls blood glucose levels, is no longer produced or not produced in sufficient amounts by the body. It significantly affects the health of many Australians and can result in a range of complications, including serious damage to the nerves and blood vessels. If left undiagnosed or poorly managed, diabetes can lead to coronary heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, limb amputations or blindness.

    Data source and definitions

    Data on diabetes refers to persons who reported having been told by a doctor or nurse that they had diabetes and that it was current and long-term; that is, their diabetes was current at the time of interview and had lasted, or was expected to last, 6 months or more. There were a further 111,500 persons who reported they had diabetes but that it was not current at the time of interview.

    More accurate information on the number of people with diabetes based on measured blood sugar levels will be available upon release of results from the National Health Measures Survey in 2013.

In 2011-12, 4.0% of the Australian population (875,400 people) reported having some type of diabetes (excluding persons with gestational diabetes). The prevalence of diabetes remained stable between 2007-08 and 2011-12 (both 4.0%).

Of persons who reported diabetes, the majority had Type 2 diabetes (85.3%), while 12.4% had Type 1 diabetes and the remainder had an unspecified type of diabetes (2.3%).

More men reported having diabetes than women (4.3% of all men compared with 3.6% of all women) and as with many health conditions, the rate of diabetes increased with age. People aged 65-74 years had the highest rate of diabetes (16.0%).

Graph Image for Proportion of persons with diabetes, 2011-12

Previous PageNext Page