Australian diabetes rates rising, yet diabetes related deaths declining, research shows

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 2nd February 2012

A report released on 1 February, 2012 by the Australian Insitute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), has stated that although diabetes has increased significantly in Australia over the past 20 years, the rate of diabetes-related deaths is falling.

The new web-based report, “Diabetes indicators in Australia”, shows the prevalence of diabetes in the Australian population increased from 1.5 percent to 4.1 percent over the 20 years to 2007-2008.

AIHW spokesperson Lisa McGlynn said, “While increasing numbers of Australians are developing the disease, there is some good news in relation to diabetes complications”.

Diabetes-related deaths dropped by 18 percent between 1997 and 2007 and hospitalisations for lower limb amputations among people with diabetes fell between 2001 and 2007–2008, from 4.8 percent to 4.1 percent per 1,000 people with diabetes.

In 2007–2008, 61 percent of Australian adults were overweight or obese, compared to 57 percent in 1995.

The rate of Australian adults who did not get enough exercise has increased from 69 percent to 72 percent between 2001, and 2007–2008.

And, in 2007–2008, more than 90 percent of Australian adults did not eat enough vegetables and 50 percent did not eat enough fruit.

Mrs McGlynn has stated that this result could be due to “a better management of diabetes”. However, the “increasing number of Australians with diabetes is still a cause for concern”.

Mrs McGlynn said, “Managing the risk of getting diabetes can be, among other things, maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough exercise and eating the right amounts of fruit and vegetables”.