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Diabetes-related death rates are steadily decreasing

In 2010, nearly 7,750 Australians died from diabetes and causes related to diabetes. This is 5.4% of all deaths in that year.

Between 1997 and 2010, deaths from diabetes-related causes fell by 20%, from 39 to 31 deaths per 100,000 population, taking into account differences in age structure over time (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Diabetes-related death rate, 1997–2010

diabetes-impacts-fig1 PNG

Notes
1. Directly age-standardised to the 2001 Australian population.
2. Refer to Table 2 for coding details for diabetes deaths and diabetes-related deaths.
3. Deaths for 2009 and 2010 are based on revised and preliminary data, respectively, and are subject to further revision.
4. These data have not been adjusted for the additional deaths arising from outstanding registrations of deaths in Queensland in 2010. For more detail, please refer to Technical note 3 in Causes of death, Australia, 2010 (ABS Cat. no. 3303.0).

Source: AIHW National Mortality Database. Table 3

For more information see Diabetes indicators in Australia.

More than half of people with diabetes also had a disability

In 2003, 56% of people with diabetes had a disability.

Of people with diabetes and a disability, 2 out of 5 had a profound or severe core activity limitation, indicating that they were unable to do, or always/sometimes needed help with, functions such as self-care, mobility and communication.

In 2003, almost one quarter of people with diabetes and a disability reported that diabetes was the main condition causing their disability.

For more information, see Australia’s Health 2010.

People with diabetes are more likely to have psychological distress

Adults with diabetes had a significantly higher prevalence of medium or high psychological distress than those without diabetes (43.4% and 32.2% respectively), after adjusting for age differences in the groups, based on the 2007–08 National Health Survey (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Prevalence of medium or high psychological distress among adults by diabetes status, 2007–08

Psychological distress

Notes:
1. Age-standardised to the 2001 Australian population
2. Adults are defined as people aged 18 years or older
3. High psychological distress includes ‘high’ or ‘very high’ levels of distress.

Source: AIHW analysis of ABS 2007–08 National Health Survey Confidentialised Unit Record File. Table 4

For more information see Diabetes and poor mental health and wellbeing: an exploratory analysis.

Diabetes expenditure accounted for 2% of total disease expenditure

In 2008-09, almost $1,507 million was spent on diabetes. Of this, 43% was on hospital admitted patients, 24% on out-of-hospital medical services, and 33% on blood glucose lowering medicines. An additional $153 million was spent on governmental programs and subsidies, research and gestational diabetes programs.

Table 1: Diabetes mellitus expenditure, 2008–09
Area of expenditure $ million
Hospital admitted patients (a) 647
Out-of-hospital medical services 362
Blood glucose lowering medicines(b)(c) 498
Total expenditure 1,507
Percent of total allocated health expenditure, 2008–09 (%) 2.3

(a) Includes admitted patients in public and private acute hospitals, and psychiatric hospitals. Also includes medical services provided to private admitted patients in hospital.
(b) Includes all pharmaceuticals for which a prescription is needed, including benefit-paid prescriptions, private prescriptions and below-copayment prescriptions.
(c) Excludes over-the-counter medications such as vitamins and minerals, patient medicines, first aid and wound care products, analgesics, feminine hygiene products, cold sore preparations, and a number of complementary health products that are sold in both pharmacies and other retail outlets.

Source: AIHW disease expenditure database.

For more information, see Diabetes expenditure in Australia 2008–09  

Further information

AIHW 2012. Diabetes indicators in Australia

AIHW 2011. Diabetes and poor mental health and wellbeing: an exploratory analysis

AIHW 2010. Australia’s Health 2010

Definitions

Diabetes-related deaths
Table 2 shows which conditions are considered as diabetes-related deaths in this publication and their International Classification of Diseases (ICD–10) code.
Table 2: Diabetes-related causes of death
Diabetes-related causes of death ICD­-10 codes
Diabetes is listed as the underlying cause of death E10, E11, E13, E14, O24
Diabetes is listed as an associated cause of death, where the underlying cause of death was one of:
Myocardial infarction (heart attack) I21-I22
Ischaemic heart disease I20, I24, I25
Stroke or sequelae of stroke I60-I64, I69.0-I69.4
Heart failure I50
Sudden death (cardiac arrest) I46
Peripheral vascular disease I70-I74
Kidney disease N00-N28
Hyperglycaemia R73
Hypoglycaemia E16.1-E16.2

Note: ‘Diabetes-related deaths’ is based on the definition of ‘deaths related to diabetes’ used in the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS 1998). The UKPDS definition has been modified by diabetes specialists on the National Diabetes Data Working Group (NDDWG) to include ischaemic heart disease, sequelae of stroke and heart failure, and other commonly recognised complications of diabetes.

Source: AIHW 2007.

Source data

Table 3: Diabetes-related deaths per 100,000 people, Australia 1997–2010
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Males 48.0 45.3 45.1 44.2 44.6 46.3 44.1 43.0 40.0 41.1 40.8 43.4 41.2 38.5
Females 31.9 30.0 28.9 28.3 27.3 28.0 26.8 27.1 26.1 26.6 26.1 27.4 26.9 24.9
Persons 38.8 36.6 35.9 35.2 34.8 35.9 34.3 34.0 32.3 33.0 32.6 34.6 33.3 30.9

Notes
1. Directly age-standardised to the 2001 Australian population.
2. Refer to Table 1 for coding details for diabetes deaths and diabetes-related deaths.
3. Deaths for 2009 and 2010 are based on revised and preliminary data, respectively, and are subject to further revision.
4. These data have not been adjusted for the additional deaths arising from outstanding registrations of deaths in Queensland in 2010. For more detail, please refer to Technical note 3 in Causes of death, Australia, 2010 (ABS Cat. no. 3303.0).

Source: AIHW National Mortality Database.

Table 4: Age-standardised prevalence of medium, high and very high psychological distress among people aged 18 years and over, by diabetes status and sex, 2007–08
Year With diabetes Without diabetes
Males 34.4 27.3
Females 50.4 36.8
Persons 43.4 32.2

Source: AIHW analysis of ABS 2007–08 National Health Survey Confidentialised Unit Record File.