Goal 2: Promote awareness & earlier detection of type 1 & type 2 diabetes

Goal 2 of the Strategy focusses on promoting awareness and earlier detection of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in the Australian population.

Four indicators were identified to measure progress against Goal 2:

Indicator 2.1 Raised blood glucose levels (including diabetes)

In 2011–12, it was estimated that around 1,104,100 Australians aged 18 and over had raised blood glucose levels (fasting plasma glucose ≥ 6.1mmol/L), representing 8% of the adult population. The age-standardised proportion of men with raised blood glucose levels was higher than the proportion of women in each age group, and the prevalence increased with age between the ages of 18 and 74 years for both men and women (Figure 2.1.1). An estimated one in five adults aged 65 to 74 years had raised blood glucose levels (including diabetes).

Adults living in the most disadvantaged areas had a higher prevalence of raised blood glucose levels than those living in the least disadvantaged areas (12% and 5%, respectively) (Figure 2.1.2). However, there were no significant differences by remoteness area or by state and territory.

In 2012–13, 16% of Indigenous adults had raised blood glucose levels (Data tables). There was no significant difference between the age-standardised proportion of Indigenous males and females with raised blood glucose levels.

Figure 2.1.1 Raised blood glucose levels (including diabetes), by age group and sex, 2011–12

The vertical bar chart displays the proportion of adults who had raised blood glucose levels, including diabetes, by age group and sex. The proportion was higher among males when compared with females in all age groups. The proportion with raised blood glucose levels increased with increasing age, peaking among males aged 65–74 years (28%25) and females aged 75 years and above (16%25).

Source: AIHW analysis of ABS 2014b. See data table ‘Indicator 2.1’ for data notes.

Figure 2.1.2 Raised blood glucose levels (including diabetes), by population characteristics, 2011–12(2)

The horizontal bar chart displays the age-standardised proportion of adults who had raised blood glucose levels, including diabetes, by Indigenous status, remoteness area and socioeconomic group. The proportion increased with increasing socioeconomic disadvantage and was substantially higher among Indigenous Australians (21%25) compared with non-Indigenous Australians (8%25).

Notes:

  1. Age-standardised to the 2001 Australian population.
  2. Indigenous results were estimated using data from the ABS Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, 2012–13

Sources: AIHW analysis of ABS 2014b and ABS 2015a. See data table ‘Indicator 2.1’ for data notes.

Indicator 2.2 Incidence of type 1 diabetes

In 2016, around 2,600 people were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, a rate of 12 cases per 100,000 population (AIHW 2018). The incidence rate was highest in those aged 10–14 years, and was slightly higher in boys than girls overall (13 and 10 new cases per 100,000 population, respectively, Figure 2.2.1).

The incidence rate was highest in Tasmania (15 new cases per 100,000 population) and lowest in the Northern Territory (7 new cases per 100,000 population). There was little variation by remoteness area, Indigenous status or socioeconomic status (Figure 2.2.2). Of note, the incidence rates in the states and territories are likely to be influenced by the potential lower coverage of the NDR among Indigenous Australians and/or Australians living in remote and very remote areas (AIHW 2016a).

Figure 2.2.1 Incidence of type 1 diabetes, by age group and sex, 2016

The vertical bar chart displays the incidence of type 1 diabetes per 100,000 population by age group. The incidence peaked among those aged 10–14 years, where the rate was 33 new cases per 100,000 population, and was lowest among those aged 65-69 years (2 per 100,000 population).

Source: AIHW 2018. See data table ‘Indicator 2.2’ for data notes.

Figure 2.2.2 Incidence of type 1 diabetes, by population characteristics, 2016

The horizontal bar chart shows the age-standardised incidence of type 1 diabetes per 100,000 population by Indigenous status, remoteness area and socioeconomic group. There was little variation by population characteristics, with rates in all population groups between 9 and 14 new cases per 100,000 population.

Note:

  1. Age-standardised to the 2001 Australian population.

Source: AIHW 2018. See data table ‘Indicator 2.2’ for data notes.

Indicator 2.3 Prevalence of type 1 diabetes

As at 31 December 2013, almost 6,100 children aged 0–14 had type 1 diabetes in Australia, corresponding to a prevalence rate of 139 cases per 100,000 population (AIHW 2015). Rates were similar in boys and girls (Figure 2.3.1) and there was little variation by socioeconomic status (Figure 2.3.2.).

Children living in Remote and Very remote areas had the lowest prevalence rate of type 1 diabetes (82 cases per 100,000 population), while those living in Inner regional areas had the highest (169 per 100,000) (Figure 2.3.2).

While the rate was substantially lower in the Northern Territory compared with other states and territories, this is likely to reflect, at least in part, lower case ascertainment on the NDR among Indigenous Australians and those living in Remote and Very remote areas.

Currently, it is not possible to estimate the prevalence of type 1 diabetes in adults using NDR data. Self-report data from the ABS National Health Survey 2014–15 indicate that an estimated 158,900 Australians (0.7%) had type 1 diabetes. There was no significant difference between the proportion of males (0.7%) and females (0.6%) with type 1 diabetes (ABS, 2015c). The relatively low prevalence of type 1 diabetes, in addition to issues regarding accuracy of reporting relating to diabetes type (i.e. type 1 vs type 2), means producing reliable estimates further disaggregated by age group, sex and population characteristics is currently challenging.

Figure 2.3.1: Prevalence of type 1 diabetes among children aged 0–14, by age group and sex, 2013

The vertical bar chart displays the prevalence of type 1 diabetes per 100,000 population among children aged 0–14 years. The prevalence was highest among those aged 10–14 years, and was slightly higher among boys (282 per 100,000 population) than girls (274 per 100,000 population).

Source: AIHW 2015a. See data table ‘Indicator 2.3’ for data notes.

Figure 2.3.2: Prevalence of type 1 diabetes among children aged 0–14, by population characteristics, 2013

The horizontal bar chart shows the age-standardised prevalence of type 1 diabetes per 100,000 population among children aged 0–14 years by remoteness area and socioeconomic status. The prevalence was highest among those living in Inner regional areas (169 per 100,000 population) and lowest among those living in Remote and Very Remote areas (82 per 100,000 population). There was little variation by socioeconomic status.

Source: AIHW 2015a. See data table ‘Indicator 2.3’ for data notes.

Indicator 2.4 Uptake of the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) diabetes incentive

The Practice Incentives Program (PIP) is an Australian Government funded initiative that aims to support general practice activities. Around 85% of patient care in Australia is provided by practices enrolled in PIP. The Diabetes Incentive initiative, which is a component of the PIP, aims to promote earlier diagnosis and effective management of people with diabetes.

In 2016, 56% of general practices enrolled in the PIP had registered for the PIP Diabetes Incentive. While the proportion of participating practices has increased since 2014, variation remains between states and territories (Figure 2.4.1).

Figure 2.4.1 Uptake of the Practice Incentives Program Diabetes Incentive by general practices enrolled in the Practice Incentives Program, 2014–2016

The vertical bar chart displays the proportion of General Practices, who were enrolled in the Practice Incentives program and registered in the Practice Incentives Program Diabetes Incentive, by state and territory between May 2014 and May 2016. The chart shows that uptake of the Diabetes Incentive increased in all states and territories between 2014 and 2016. However, in 2016, substantial differences between states and territories existed, with the highest uptake in the Northern Territory (85%25) and the lowest in Tasmania (43%25).

Note:

  1. Not all general practices are involved in PIP and the proportion may vary across jurisdictions. Around 85% of patient care is provided by general practices enrolled in the PIP.

Source: Productivity Commission 2017. See data table ‘Indicator 2.4’ for data notes.