Type 1 diabetes

There are currently no national data that capture the prevalence of type 1 diabetes at all ages, but there are estimates for children. According to the National (insulin-treated) Diabetes Register (NDR), just over 6,500 children aged 0–14 had type 1 diabetes in 2017 with equal numbers among males and females. Almost two-thirds of children with type 1 diabetes in 2017 were aged 10–14 years (Figure 1). Prevalence among children aged 0–14 was similar across all socioeconomic groups but higher in Inner regional and Outer regional areas (169 and 149 per 100,000 population, respectively, compared with the average of 135 per 100,000 population) (Figure 2).

There were 2,700 total new cases (incidence) of type 1 diabetes in Australia in 2017, equating to 12 cases per 100,000 population, according to the NDR.

Figure 1: Prevalence of type 1 diabetes, children by age at diagnosis and sex, 2017

Chart: AIHW. Source: AIHW 2017 National (insulin-treated) Diabetes Register. (Data table)

Figure 2: Prevalence of type 1 diabetes, children aged 0–14, by selected population characteristics, 2017

The bar chart shows the prevalence of type 1 diabetes among children aged 0–14 years by remoteness area and socioeconomic group in 2017. Prevalence of type 1 diabetes was similar across all socioeconomic groups (ranging from 137 per 100,000 population in the lowest group to 133 per 100,000 in the highest group). Prevalence rates were higher in Inner regional and Outer regional areas (169 and 149 per 100,000 population compared with 134 per 100,000 in Major cities and 86 per 100,000 population in Remote and very remote areas).

Note: Age-standardised to the 2001 Australian Standard Population.

Chart: AIHW. Source: AIHW analysis of the National (insulin-treated) Diabetes Register. (Data table)

Trends

There were around 44,700 new cases of type 1 diabetes diagnosed between 2000 and 2017. This was around 2,500 new cases of type 1 diabetes each year—an average of 7 new cases per day.

The incidence of type 1 diabetes remained relatively stable between 2000 and 2017, fluctuating between 11 to 13 new cases per 100,000 population each year (Figure 3).

The incidence rate for 0­–14 year olds remained on average 1.5 times as high as for those aged 15–24 years and 4 times as high as for those aged 25 years and over during this period).

Figure 3: Trends in incidence of type 1 diabetes, by age, 2000–17

The line chart shows the relatively stable trend in the incidence of type 1 diabetes between 2000 and 2017, for all age groups. Incidence rates were highest in the 0–14 year age group with between 22 and 27 new cases per 100,000 population per year. The incidence rate dropped in the 15–24 year age group to between 15 and 18 new cases per 100,000 and in the 25+ year age group to between 6 and 9 new cases per 100,000 population per year.

Chart: AIHW. Source: AIHW analysis of the National (insulin-treated) Diabetes Register. (Data table)

Age and sex

In 2017:

  • The incidence rate of type 1 diabetes was higher in males than females (14 compared with 10 per 100,000 population).
  • Almost 3 in 5 (60%) new cases of type 1 diabetes were among children and young people under 25 years.

The peak age group of diagnosis was 10–19 years (29 and 25 per 100,000 for males and females, respectively)─at least 3 times the rate at age 30–39 (13 and 5 per 100,000) and at least 25 times the rate for those aged 80 years and over (1 per 100,000 for males and females) (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Incidence of type 1 diabetes, by age at diagnosis and sex, 2017

The bar chart shows the incidence of type 1 diabetes peaked in the 10–19 year age group with 29 and 25 new cases per 100,000 population for males and females, respectively, in 2017. The incidence rate was higher for males than females in all age groups except 0–9 years.

Chart: AIHW. Source: AIHW analysis of the National (insulin-treated) Diabetes Register. (Data table)

Variation among population groups

According to the National (insulin-treated) Diabetes Register (NDR), the incidence of type 1 diabetes in 2017 was similar by level of socioeconomic disadvantage but varied by level of remoteness. The numbers were:

  • Similar across all socioeconomic groups with an average of 12 per 100,000 population.
  • Higher among Inner regional areas (15 per 100,000 population) compared to the average across all areas of 12 per 100,000 population (Figure 5). This gap was slightly higher among males (17 per 100,000 population) than females (12 per 100,000 population).

Figure 5: Incidence of type 1 diabetes, by selected population characteristics, 2017

The bar chart shows the incidence of type 1 diabetes in 2017 was slightly higher among those living in Inner regional areas with 15 new cases per 100,000 population. The incidence rate was lowest among those living in Remote and very remote areas with 10 new cases per 100,000 population. Incidence rates were similar across all socioeconomic groups.

Note: Age-standardised to the 2001 Australian Standard Population.

Chart: AIHW. Source: AIHW analysis of the National (insulin-treated) Diabetes Register. (Data table)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

In 2017, there were 121 new cases of type 1 diabetes among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people equating to 16 cases per 100,000 population.

After adjusting for differences in the age structure of the populations:

  • The rate among Indigenous Australians was 1.2 times as high as for non-Indigenous Australians.
  • The disparity between Indigenous Australians and non-Indigenous Australians was slightly greater for females than males—1.2 times as high for females and 1.1 times as high for males.