Aboriginals affected by diabetes

Thu, 31 Aug 2006
Aboriginal Australians face the grim prospect of a far higher rate of diabetes than the average Australian, according to a new report. The effect of ethnicity on diabetes is already well known, with many different ethnic groups throughout the world facing a substantially higher risk of developing diabetes.

The new study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) examined trends amongst hospitalisations in Australia. They used hospital statistics extending between 1996 and 2004.

For aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, the rate of hospitalisation for diabetes was found to be seven times higher than for average Australians. The researchers also found that hospitalisation rates rose in parallel with increased socio-economic disadvantage and increasing remoteness.

An expert from the Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes Unit at the AIHW said: "Diabetes is a chronic condition that can have a major impact on life expectancy and quality of life, especially if undetected or poorly controlled."
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