Cardiovascular disease and diabetes in Australia

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Cardiovascular disease and diabetes are significant health concerns for Australians.

Cardiovascular disease[edit]

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) continues to have a major impact on the health of Australians in terms of prevalence, mortality, morbidity, burden of disease and expenditure. An estimated 3.7 million Australians, 19% of the population, have a long-term cardiovascular condition and around 1.4 million Australians have a disability associated with the disease. Cardiovascular disease remains Australia's leading cause of death, accounting for 45,670 deaths (34% of all deaths) in Australia in 2006. In 2003, it accounted for 18% of the total Australian burden of disease.

The number and rate of deaths from CVD have fallen considerably from the peak levels experienced in the late 1960s and early 1970s when CVD was responsible for around 60,000 deaths annually, or roughly 55% of all deaths each year. These major gains have been attributed to a combination of research, improvements in prevention and detection of cardiovascular disease, and better clinical management of people with the disease. There is a close interrelationship between CVD and other important chronic conditions, including diabetes and chronic kidney disease.[1]


An estimated 275 Australians develop diabetes every day. The 2005 Australian AusDiab Follow-up Study (Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study) showed that 1.7 million Australians have diabetes but that up to half of the cases of type 2 diabetes remain undiagnosed. Other facts about diabetes include:

  • Every year 0.8% of adults developed diabetes.
  • Every day in Australia approximately 275 adults develop diabetes.
  • Those with pre-diabetes were 10-20 times more likely to develop diabetes than were those with normal blood glucose levels.


A University of Alberta study, conducted in 2006, noted that 60% of Aborigines over the age of 35 in Western Australia tested positive for diabetes.[3]

A study conducted by the International Diabetes Institute at Monash University showed that Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Middle Eastern immigrants who moved to Australia were diagnosed with diabetes at a higher level than the average.[citation needed] The increase was explained by the adoption of a Western diet in place of a more healthy "traditional" diet more common in their native countries, as well as adopting a more sedentary lifestyle which is ubiquitous in developed countries.[citation needed]

National Diabetes Services Scheme[edit]

The National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) is a federal government initiative which is administered by Diabetes Australia. The service provides subsidised prices for a range of services and products. Prior registration and the use of an identification car is required to access the subsidies.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ AIHW website Accessed 21 April 2009 12.35
  2. ^ ELM Barr, DJ Magliano, PZ Zimmet, KR Polkinghorne, RC Atkins, DW Dunstan, SG Murray, JE Shaw 2006, AusDiab 2005 The Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study International Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia
  3. ^ "International study links aboriginal health, lifestyle, local decision-making". The Canadian Press. 3 July 2009. Retrieved 5 July 2009.