1989-90 National Health Survey: prevalence of self-reported diabetes in Australia

T.A. Welborn, Matthew Knuiman, Helen Bartholomew, D.E. Whittall

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of self-reported diabetes in a representative population sample in Australia; to identify major differences in prevalence by State and Territory and by geographic origin; and to compare trends in prevalence over time.Design and setting: Analysis of data collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in the 1989-90 National Health Survey. The sampling frame (22202 households and 54241 people) ensured adequate representation for each State and Territory in Australia.Results: Prevalence of self-reported diabetes/high blood sugar levels were 1.9% for males and 2.0% for females over all ages; 3.1% for men and 2.9 for women aged over 25 years; and 8.1% for men and 6.9% for women aged over 65 years. Interstate differences of borderline significance were found and will require validation in larger samples. Age-standardised prevalences were higher in subjects born in Southern Europe and lower in those born in Western Europe compared with Australian-born subjects. Prevalences were high in households where the language spoken was other than English. The frequency of self-reported diabetes appears to be rising.Conclusion: Australia has comparatively low total prevalence of self-reported diabetes/high blood sugar levels. High prevalence subsections exist, including the elderly and certain migrant groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-132
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1995


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