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A new report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) showed that diabetes hospitalisation rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are substantially higher than hospitalisation rates for other Australians with diabetes.
Ms Kathleen O'Brien of the AIHW's Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes Unit said the report looked at trends in diabetes-related hospitalisations using hospital statistics over the period 1996-07 to 2003-04.
It found that diabetes-related hospitalisations increased by 20% between 2000-01 and 2003-04, and the average length of stay for someone with diabetes was more than three times the overall average length of stay.
The report, Diabetes hospitalisations in Australia, 2003-04, found that in cases where diabetes was the main reason for hospitalisation, the rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples was over seven times the rate of diabetes hospitalisations for other Australians.
The report also examined variations in hospitalisation rates across different socioeconomic groups and geographic regions. It showed that hospitalisation rates rose with increasing socioeconomic disadvantage and increasing remoteness.
Diabetes was most commonly associated with hospitalisations for circulatory diseases such as coronary heart disease and stroke.
'Diabetes is a chronic condition that can have a major impact on life expectancy and quality of life, especially if undetected or poorly controlled,' Ms O'Brien said.
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