More Australians using insulin to manage diabetes

Over 220,000 Australians began using insulin to treat diabetes between 2000 and 2009, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The new web-based report, Incidence of insulin-treated diabetes in Australia, 2000–2009, shows that 77% of these people had Type 2 diabetes, 12% had gestational diabetes and 10% had Type 1 diabetes. The remaining 1% had other types of diabetes.

‘For Type 1 diabetes there were 9,308 new cases among children aged 0-14 years and 13,756 new cases among those aged 15 years and older between 2000 and 2009. This is an average of about 6 new cases diagnosed each day,’ said AIHW spokesperson Daniel Palamara.

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in childhood and insulin replacement is required to survive.

In children aged 0-14 the incidence of Type 1 diabetes increased from 19 cases per 100,000 children in 2000 to 25 per 100,000 children in 2004. But since 2004 the rate of new cases has remained stable.

In most age groups, the incidence rate of Type 1 diabetes was higher for males than for females.

Type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form of diabetes, occurs when the body becomes resistant to the insulin it produces or does not produce enough insulin to meet the body’s needs.

Not all people with Type 2 diabetes require insulin to manage their diabetes. Lifestyle modifications—such as improved diet and exercise habits, along with medication—are often sufficient.

‘Between 2000 and 2009, there were 94,663 males and 77,583 females who began to use insulin to treat their Type 2 diabetes,’ Mr Palamara said.

‘This was 108 new cases per 100,000 for males and 82 new cases per 100,000 for females.’

The rate of new cases of insulin-treated Type 2 diabetes increased from 74 per 100,000 in 2000 to 117 per 100,000 people in 2009.

The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare.

Canberra, 13 February 2012

Further information:
Daniel Palamara, AIHW, tel. (02) 6249 5151, mob. 0407 915 851
Associate Professor Maria Craig, mob. 0417 233 064

For media access to the online report: Publications Officer tel. (02) 6244 1032

Online report: Incidence of insulin-treated diabetes in Australia 2000–2009