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An estimated 917,000 (5.4%) Australian adults aged 18 years and over had diabetes in 2011–12, based on self-reported and measured data, from the ABS 2011–12 Australian Health Survey. This includes people with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and type unknown but excludes gestational diabetes.
Approximately 1% of the adult population did not report that they had diabetes, which may indicate they were unaware that they had the condition, compared with 4% who were aware of it and reported their diabetes.
In 2011–12, the prevalence of diabetes (based on measured and self-reported data):
Note: Based on biomedical (HbA1c) and self-reported data.
Source: AIHW analysis of ABS Microdata: Australian Health Survey, Core Content—Risk Factors and Selected Health Conditions, 2011–12. Data table.
In 2011–12, the prevalence of diabetes (based on biomedical and self-reported data) in Australian adults ranged from 5.3% in Major cities, to 5.5% in Inner regional areas and 6.1% in Outer regional and remote areas combined (Figure 2).
Australian adults in the lowest socioeconomic group (9.4%) were over 3 times as likely to have diabetes (based on measured and self-reported data) as those in the highest socioeconomic group (2.6%) (Figure 2).
There are currently no national measured data for monitoring trends in diabetes prevalence. The number of Australians who self-reported having diabetes more than doubled from 1.5% in 1989–90 to 4.2% in 2011–12, however the rate has remained stable since 2007–08.
Several factors may have contributed to the rise in self-reported diabetes during this period, such as: increased incidence of type 2 diabetes, increased public awareness, better detection of disease, improved survival leading to people living longer with diabetes and an ageing population.
There are currently no national data that capture the prevalence of type 1 diabetes at all ages, but there are estimates for children—over 6,000 children aged 0–14 had type 1 diabetes in 2013.
Note: measured data from the ABS Australian Health Survey can detect signs of diabetes, but it cannot be used to estimate the prevalence of type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
The National (insulin-treated) Diabetes Register (NDR) is the most reliable source of information on the incidence (new cases) of type 1 diabetes in Australia.
In 2014, there were 2,509 new cases of type 1 diabetes in Australia, equating to 11 cases per 100,000 population.
The incidence rate for type 1 diabetes:
Source:AIHW analysis of 2014 National (insulin-treated) Diabetes Register (NDR). Data table.
From 2000 to 2014, there were 36,117 cases of type 1 diabetes diagnosed. This was around 2,400 new cases of type 1 diabetes each year—an average of 7 new cases per day.
The incidence of type 1 diabetes remained relatively stable between 2000 and 2014, with 11 to 13 new cases per 100,000 population each year.
Note: Year of first insulin use is a proxy for year of diagnosis.
Source: AIHW analysis of 2014 National (insulin-treated) Diabetes Register (NDR). Data table.
In 2014, the incidence rate of type 1 diabetes was:
Incidence rates of type 1 diabetes may be influenced by the lower capture of Indigenous Australians and people living in Remote and very remote areas on the primary data sources of the National (insulin-treated) Diabetes Register. For more information, please refer to the National (insulin-treated) Diabetes Register 2014 Data Quality Statement.
Note: Age-standardised to the 2001 Australian Standard Population.
Information on the number of adults with type 2 diabetes is only available from self-reported information from the ABS 2011–12 Australian Health Survey. This is likely to underestimate the number of Australians with type 2 diabetes, as many cases remain unreported, due to survey participants either not knowing or accurately reporting their diabetes status.
In 2011–12, an estimated 849,000 adults aged 18 years and over (4.7%) reported that they had type 2 diabetes. Rates were:
Information about insulin use by people with type 2 diabetes is available from the National (insulin-treated) Diabetes Register (NDR). The NDR reported that 19,390 people with type 2 diabetes began insulin treatment in 2014.
In 2012–13, around 24,100 hospitalisations for women who gave birth were recorded with either a principal or additional diagnosis of gestational diabetes.
In 2009–11, according to the AIHW National Perinatal Data Collection, 5.8% of women who gave birth and who did not have pre-existing diabetes were diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
Source: AIHW National Perinatal Data Collection. Data table
According to the National (insulin-treated) Diabetes Register, 6,625 women with gestational diabetes began using insulin in 2014.
For more information, see Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease: Australian facts: prevalence and incidence, Prevalence of type 1 diabetes among children aged 0–14 in Australia 2013 and Incidence of insulin-treated diabetes in Australia 2014.