Aboriginals at high risk of diabetes

Tue, 13 Dec 2005
A study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (IHW) has highlighted the fact that Indigenous Australians are as much as four times more likely than other Australians to die of diabetes-related complications.

The study, investigating health records, found that approximately 21,000 over-25s died of diabetes-related causes between the years 2001 and 2003. The leading causes of diabetes-related death amongst indigenous people were heart attack, stroke and kidney disease.

The study highlights the fact that many indigenous Australians also live in disadvantaged areas, and are possibly more exposed to related risk factors. These could include smoking, heavy drinking, obesity, poor diet and lack of physical exercise. The Northern Territory was revealed in the study to suffer from the highest number of deaths attributable to diabetes.

Tasmania, a island state that lies off the south coast of Australia, was recorded to have the second highest number of diabetes-related deaths in Australia. Between the years 2001-2003, 60 out of every 100,000 inhabitants of Tasmania died either directly from diabetes, or from diabetes related complications.

The study further proves the susceptibility of many ethic minorities to diabetes.
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