NACCHO Diabetes Health Alert :Maps show widespread impact of diabetes across Australia, Indigenous communities

 

aboriginal-woman-at-dialysis

“The number of Indigenous Australians affected by the disease is particularly alarming. 

Statistics show that one in six Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (18 per cent of the population) have diabetes or high blood sugar levels. 

Rates of diabetes are higher in remote areas, and compared to the rest of the population, Indigenous Australians are more than three times as likely as non-Indigenous people to have the disease. 

According to the NDSS map, over 10 per cent of the population around Alice Springs suffers from diabetes. “

The prevalence of diabetes, particularly Type 2, is rapidly increasing around the country. These maps show just how far it has spread, and the physical toll it is taking.

By Madeleine King, Jason Thomas

Every five minutes, someone in Australia is diagnosed with diabetes. That’s 280 people, every day.

Of those cases, it is estimated 85 per cent of them are being diagnosed as Type 2 diabetics.

It’s the form of the disease that is arguably most preventable, caused when the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin, or cannot produce enough of the hormone, produced by the pancreas to keep the body’s blood sugar levels under control.

This week, Insight is looking into this particular strain of the disease.

Who is vulnerable, what are the causes, where does it occur, and is it preventable?

Diabetes Australia has developed an interactive map that shows how widespread the disease is, based off data provided by registrants to the government’s National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS).

Light blue parts of the map show electoral districts where diabetes has a low rate of occurrence in the population, through to dark red where the disease is highly prevalent.

In Sydney, more affluent suburbs in the east have a very low rate of diabetes, whereas people in the west, in areas around Fairfield, Blacktown and Liverpool, are much more affected by the disease.

In the suburbs around Wetherill Park, 8.3 per cent of the population are signed up for the scheme.

 Diabetes Australia map of diabetes prevalence in Sydney

The prevalence of diabetes in the Sydney region: NDSS

Disadvantaged areas are more likely to see cases of diabetes, and people from particular ethnic backgrounds – including Indigenous Australian, Pacific Islander, Chinese and sub-continental India – are more susceptible.

Does your area have a greater rate of diabetes? Find out here.

The number of Indigenous Australians affected by the disease is particularly alarming.

Statistics show that one in six Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (18 per cent of the population) have diabetes or high blood sugar levels.

Rates of diabetes are higher in remote areas, and compared to the rest of the population, Indigenous Australians are more than three times as likely as non-Indigenous people to have the disease.

According to the NDSS map, over 10 per cent of the population around Alice Springs suffers from diabetes.

 Rate of diabetes in and around Alice Springs

The rate of diabetes in and around Alice Springs: NDSS

A greater rate of diabetes comes with a higher likelihood of its associated complications: heart disease, stroke, amputation and blindness, to name a few.

The map below shows the rate of diabetes-related, preventable hospitalisations in the year 2013-2014.

In areas with large, remote Indigenous populations – northwest WA and central NT – there were over 800 hospitalisations.

NACCHO Promotion

Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Close the Gap Campaign for the governments of Australia to commit to achieving equality  for Indigenous people in the areas of health and  life expectancy within 25 years.”

Next publication date 6 April 2016

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