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In 2007–08, 10.7% of people with diabetes reported having long-term loss of vision.
In 2004–05, 19% of Indigenous people with diabetes had long-term vision loss.
Eye diseases such as retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma are common in people with diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in people aged 30–69 years. The risk of eye disease for people with diabetes rises with age and the duration of their diabetes. The risk rises even more if they have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, they smoke, or if they have kidney disease.
This indicator shows trends in the prevalence of long term vision loss among people with diabetes in:
In 2007–08 almost 96,000 (10.7%) people with diabetes had long-term visual loss (Figure 1).
Note: Directly age standardised to the 2001 NHS diabetes population.
Sources: AIHW 2011 analysis of ABS NHS 2001, 2004–05 and 2007–08 (reissue).
• Over 19,000 (19%) people with diabetes living in outer regional and remote areas had long-term visual loss (Table 1). 7% of those living in inner regional areas had long-term vision loss, while 11% living in major cities had long-term vision loss.
• Over 43,000 (12%) people with diabetes born overseas had long-term visual loss. Only 9% of people with diabetes born in Australia had long-term vision loss.
Between 2001 and 2007–08, the prevalence of long-term visual loss changed among:
Between 2001 and 2004–05, rates of long-term vision loss among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with diabetes changed from 15% to 19%, while rates of long-term vision loss among non-Indigenous Australians with diabetes changed from 12% to 9%.
* These estimates have a relative error of 25–50% and should be used with caution.
Source: AIHW analysis of ABS NHS 2001, 2004–05 and 2007–08 NHS (Reissue), ABS NHS–IS 2001 and ABS NATSIHS 2004–05.
The main data sources are:
The data in this indicator are directly age-standardised to the 2001 NHS diabetes population and presented as the number of cases of visual loss per 100 people with diabetes.
In each of these groups:
the rates compare
Diabetes is only included in this indicator if people have reported they have been told by a doctor or nurse that they have diabetes. It does not include females with gestational diabetes.
Country of birth has been defined based on the ABS NHS, as either Australian-born or overseas-born. Australian-born includes Australia, Norfolk Island and Australian External Territories. Overseas-born includes all other countries/regions and those that were not stated or inadequately described.
Geographic areas have been defined based on Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA). Three categories are used in this indicator: 'Major cities of Australia', 'Inner regional Australia' and 'Outer regional or Remote Australia' (which is a combination of Outer regional and Remote Australia).
Indigenous status is self-reported.
Vision loss Table 2 illustrates how vision loss has been defined for this indicator.
AIHW 2007. National indicators for monitoring diabetes: report of the Diabetes Indicators Review Subcommittee of the National Diabetes Data Working Group. Diabetes series no. 6. Cat. no. CVD 38. Canberra: AIHW.