Report demonstrates the impact of diabetes

The National Diabetes Register (NDR) has uncovered some unexpected findings about people diagnosed with insulin-treated diabetes each year, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Insulin-treated diabetes includes all Type 1 diabetes and people with Type 2, gestational, and other types of diabetes which are treated with insulin.

The AIHW's first report on the NDR, National Diabetes Register: Statistical Profile, shows that among children aged less than 15 years there were 743 new cases of insulin-treated diabetes in 2000 (19 cases per 100,000 population). People of this age predominantly have Type 1 diabetes.

Report author Phil Trickett said that the rate of 19 cases per 100,000 population was 'much higher than previous estimates while in line with other studies reporting a rising incidence of diabetes in Australia'.

There are higher death rates among people with diabetes. The death rate for NDR registrants was three-and-a-half times that of the general Australian population.

Almost all the people who had died since joining the Register were aged 50 years or more, and suffered from Type 2 diabetes.

The Register - established to help combat diabetes as a major health concern for Australians - is part of the National Diabetes Strategy and is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care. It collects information about people with insulin-treated diabetes, and those who started to use insulin from 1 January 1999 onwards.

Mr Trickett said that information from the Register would now be available to researchers in the field.

'It's expected that analysis of this higher death rate among people with insulin-treated diabetes will be one of the priorities for researchers,' Mr Trickett said. 'Subject to ethical availability, approaches from researchers to use the Register are welcome.'

There were an estimated 20,000 new cases of insulin-treated diabetes over 1999 and 2000. The report shows that just under 70% of these people, or almost 13,350 Australians, were registered with the NDR over this two-year period.

Other findings from National Diabetes Register: Statistical Profile, include:

  • For people aged 25 years and under, both males and females were equally likely to have insulin-treated diabetes. Women, however, strongly outnumbered men in the 25-44 years age group-reflecting the effect of gestational diabetes in women from this age group. For older groups (45-74 years) there were 37% more male registrants than females.
  • The average age at diagnosis was 14.5 years for registrants with Type 1 diabetes, 32 years for women with gestational diabetes, and about 53 years for people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

5 October 2001


Further information: Mr Phil Trickett, AIHW, tel. 02. 6244 1097 or tel. 0409 307 671
For media copies of the report: Publications Officer, AIHW, tel. 02 244 1032