4727.0.55.003 - Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Biomedical Results, 2012-13
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/09/2014 First Issue
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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 Type 2 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.
In 2012–13, around two in five (38.9%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults with known diabetes were effectively managing their condition, that is, they had an HbA1c test result of 7.0% or less. Overall, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women were more likely than men to be managing their diabetes (47.0% compared with 28.1%).
Based on the HbA1c target, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with known diabetes were less likely than their non-Indigenous counterparts to be managing their condition (38.9% compared with 55.9%).
As shown in the previous chapters, rates of known diabetes were particularly high for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in remote areas (16.0% compared with 8.5% in non-remote areas). Yet people in remote areas were far less likely than those in non-remote areas to be effectively managing their condition (25.1% compared with 43.5%).
Whilst HbA1c is a good indicator for monitoring diabetes, controlling other aspects of health such as blood lipids (fats) and kidney function levels also decreases the risk of diabetes related complications.2 In 2012–13, just over half (56.9%) of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults with known diabetes met the management target for triglycerides and almost half (44.4%) met the target for albumin creatinine ratio (ACR), which measures levels of kidney damage. However, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were still less likely than non-Indigenous people to meet these targets, particularly for ACR (44.4% compared with 71.0%).
Source(s): Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Biomedical Results
For more information on diabetes management see Table 14 on the Downloads page of this publication.
1 Diabetes Australia, 2014, General practice management of type 2 diabetes – 2014–15. <http://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/PageFiles/763/UPdated%20GP%20guidelines.pdf>,
2 Australian Diabetes Council, 2011, Reducing the risk of complications in type 2 diabetes, <http://www.australiandiabetescouncil.com/ADCCorporateSite/files/f4/f4940c4e-c5eb-4430-b50f-6724d0f9472d.pdf>, Back to top
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