Dementia burden differed across population groups
The disease burden experienced in a population (both the amount and types of disease or injury) are influenced by a number of geographic and socioeconomic factors, such as income, education, employment and access to health and social support services.
In the ABDS 2018, remoteness areas are based on an area’s relative distance to services and divided into 4 areas: Major cities, Inner regional, Outer regional and Remote/Very remote areas. Socioeconomic areas are presented as quintiles and based on a number of socioeconomic characteristics (such as household income, employment and education levels) of the area where a person lives. Quintile 1 represents the 20% of the population living in areas with the greatest overall level of disadvantage whereas Quintile 5 represents the 20% living in areas with the least overall level of disadvantage.
In 2018, the age-standardised DALY rate due to dementia varied by geographic and socioeconomic area (Figure 4.4):
- The Northern Territory had the highest rate of dementia burden (8.9 DALY per 1,000 people), and was much higher than the national rate (6.1 DALY per 1,000 people).
- This is likely due to a combination of factors including, the Northern Territory having a younger demographic and greater proportion of Indigenous Australians compared with other states and territories, as well as increased prevalence of a number of known risk factors for dementia compared with other states and territories.
- Western Australia had the lowest rate of dementia burden of all the states and territories (4.7 DALY per 1,000 people).
- Major cities had the highest rate of dementia burden (6.3 DALY per 1,000 people) and Outer regional and Remote/ Very remote areas had the lowest rates (5.8 and 5.7 DALY per 1,000 people, respectively).
- People who lived in the lowest socioeconomic area (Quintile 1) had the highest rate of dementia burden (6.6 DALY per 1,000 people), and the rate of dementia burden decreased with each increasing socioeconomic quintile.
Between 2011 and 2018, changes in the rate of dementia burden varied by state. The rate declined for the Northern Territory, Tasmania and Western Australia (by between 0.5 to 1.0 DALY per 1,000 people); rose for the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Queensland (by between 0.6 to 0.8 DALY per 1,000 people); and remained relatively steady for Victoria.
The rate of burden rose for all remoteness areas and by a similar amount between 2011 and 2018; whereas, it was either steady or rose only slightly for most socioeconomic areas, with the exception of the lowest socioeconomic area which increased from 5.6 to 6.6 DALY per 1,000 people.
Note, patterns in state and territory YLD rates differ to the state and territory prevalence estimate patterns shown in Prevalence of dementia. For burden of disease analyses, prevalence estimates were derived by applying the state and territory proportions of deaths due to dementia to the national prevalence estimates, and then multiplying by the associated disability weights (measure of health loss) to obtain YLD estimates for dementia.
Figure 4.4: Dementia burden in 2011, 2015 and 2018, by geographic and socioeconomic areas and sex: DALY, YLL and YLD per 1,000 people