1.09 Diabetes

This measure reports on the prevalence of diabetes for Indigenous Australians.

Why is it important?

Diabetes is a long term chronic condition where blood glucose levels become too high. Over time, high blood glucose levels can damage various parts of the body, especially the heart and blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves. It can result in permanent disability, mental health problems, reduced quality of life and premature death (AIHW 2015; Burrow & Ride 2016). High blood glucose levels cause complications for both the mother and baby during pregnancy. Type 2 diabetes is a significant contributor to morbidity and mortality for Indigenous Australians (AIHW 2015).

Related measures

Data sources

  • Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey
  • Australian Health Survey
  • Family Medicine Research Centre, University of Sydney, BEACH data
  • National Hospital Morbidity Database


  • AIHW 2015. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease—Australian facts: risk factors. Cardiovascular, diabetes and chronic kidney disease series no. 4. Cat. no. CDK 004. Canberra: AIHW.
  • Burrow S & Ride K 2016. Review of diabetes among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Perth: Edith Cowan University, Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet.