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An estimated 1.2 million (6%) Australian adults aged 18 years and over had diabetes in 2014–15, based on self-reported data, from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2014–15 National Health Survey. This includes people with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and type unknown but excludes gestational diabetes.
Information based on self-reported data only is likely to underestimate the prevalence of diabetes as it cannot include people with undiagnosed diabetes. The ABS 2011–12 Australian Health Survey, which included both measured and self-report data showed that for every 4 adults with diagnosed diabetes, there was 1 who was undiagnosed.
The prevalence of diabetes (based on self-reported data) has tripled between 1989–90 and 2014–15. The proportion of people with diabetes has increased from 1.5% to 4.7%.
In 2014–15, the prevalence of diabetes among adults (based on self-reported data):
Note: Based on self-reported data.
Source: AIHW analysis of ABS Microdata: National Health Survey (NHS), 2014–15 (Data table).
In 2014–15, the prevalence of diabetes (based on self-reported data) among adults was similar by remoteness and varied by socioeconomic disadvantage (Figure 2). Proportions were:
Source: AIHW analysis of ABS Microdata: National Health Survey (NHS) 2014–15 (Data table).
Around 1 in 8 (13%) Indigenous Australian adults (46,200 people) had diabetes, based on self-report and measured data from the ABS 2012–13 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Measures Survey. Diabetes was more common in Indigenous females than males (25,900 and 20,300, respectively; or 56% and 44%).
Based on self-reported and measured results, Indigenous Australian adults were almost 4 times as likely to have diabetes as their non-Indigenous counterparts (18% compared with 5%, after adjusting for differences in the age structures between the populations).
There are currently no national data that capture the prevalence of type 1 diabetes at all ages, but there are estimates for children—over 6,000 children aged 0–14 had type 1 diabetes in 2015, according to the National (insulin-treated) Diabetes Register (NDR).
There were 2,600 new cases (incidence) of type 1 diabetes in Australia in 2015, equating to 12 cases per 100,000 population, according to the NDR.
There were around 38,900 new cases of type 1 diabetes diagnosed between 2000 and 2015. This was around 2,400 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 2015, fluctuating between 11 to 13 new cases per 100,000 population each year.
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).
Source: AIHW analysis of 2015 National (insulin-treated) Diabetes Register (NDR) (Data table).
Note: Year of first insulin use is a proxy for year of diagnosis.
Source: AIHW analysis of 2015 National (insulin-treated) Diabetes Register (Data table).
In 2015, the incidence rate of type 1 diabetes was (Figure 5):
An estimated 1 million Australian adults (5%) had type 2 diabetes in 2014–15, according to self-reported data from the ABS 2014–15 National Health Survey. Proportions were:
Information based on self-reported data only is likely to underestimate the prevalence of type 2 diabetes as many cases remain unreported, due to survey participants either not knowing or accurately reporting their diabetes status. For further information about self-reported data limitations, see self-report—Glossary.
Note: Based on self-reported data.
Information on insulin use among people with type 2 diabetes is available from the National (insulin-treated) Diabetes Register (NDR). Around 18,100 people with type 2 diabetes began insulin treatment in 2015, equating to around 76 cases per 100,000 population, or 1 in around 1,300 Australians, according to the NDR:
According to the NDR, 7,405 women aged 15–49 began using insulin to treat gestational diabetes, representing almost one in four women diagnosed with gestational diabetes in 2015—130 cases per 100,000 Australian women of reproductive age (15–49).
The incidence rate was highest among women aged 30–34 (307 cases per 100,000 women aged 30–34), followed by those aged 35–39 and 25–29 (238 and 194 cases per 100,000 women respectively) (Data table).
For more information, see Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease: Australian facts: prevalence and incidence, Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease: Australian facts: Indigenous Australians and Incidence of insulin-treated diabetes in Australia 2014.