New geospatial map reveals diabetes hot spots


A new map released by Diabetes Australia highlights diabetes hot spots across Australia.

The Australian Diabetes Map provides an up-to-date picture of diabetes prevalence across all states and territories, local government areas, federal and state electorates right down to postcodes. Also, for the first time, the diabetes map includes data for the new primary health networks.

The new data, updated to 30 June 2015, shows 1,176,179 million Australians are now registered with the National Diabetes Services Scheme as having diabetes, and around 280 new cases are registered every single day. Diabetes Australia CEO Professor Greg Johnson said the Australian Diabetes Map clearly highlighted the massive impact of diabetes on every community across Australia.

"The new map makes the enormity of the diabetes epidemic very clear including its big impact on regional and remote communities, on poorer communities, and on disadvantaged Australians," said Professor Johnson said.

"This geospatial Australian Diabetes Map is a powerful tool to help us understand where the biggest burden of diabetes is being felt. It will assist primary health networks, planners and policy makers to better target diabetes care and prevention services to help all people with diabetes to live healthy and productive lives, to self-monitor and manage their diabetes, and to prevent the serious complications and downstream hospital costs.”

The new map reveals the primary health networks with the highest number of people with all types of diabetes in each state are:

  • Victoria – North West Melbourne: 77,839 people with all types of diabetes
  • New South Wales – Hunter/New England and Central Coast: 69,301 people with all types of diabetes
  • South Australia – Adelaide: 66,673 people with all types of diabetes
  • Queensland – Brisbane South: 47,741 people with all types of diabetes
  • Western Australia – Perth South: 46,420 people with all types of diabetes

Note: ACT, Northern Territory and Tasmania have only one primary health network each. In terms of prevalence rate of diabetes the top primary health networks are:

  1. Country SA (SA) – 63 per 1,000 people
  2. Gippsland (VIC) – 63 per 1,000 people
  3. South Western Sydney (NSW) – 62 per 1,000 people
  4. Western NSW (NSW) – 59 per 1,000 people
  5. South Eastern NSW (NSW) – 60 per 1,000 people

In terms of the prevalence rate of diabetes the states are ranked:

  1. SA – 58 per 1,000 people
  2. NT – 56 per 1,000 people
  3. TAS – 53 per 1,000 people
  4. NSW – 52 per 1,000 people
  5. VIC – 50 per 1,000 people
  6. QLD – 45 per 1,000 people
  7. WA – 44 per 1,000 people
  8. ACT – 40 per 1,000 people

The South Australian federal electorate of Grey had the highest prevalence rate of any federal electorate. Five of the top ten electorates are in western Sydney. The Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley’s western New South Wales electorate of Farrer is also in the top ten.

“The map allows people to really drill down by postcode and local government area and that reveals a very alarming impact with prevalence rates above 20 per cent in some postcodes,” he said.

“The absolute numbers of people with diabetes is alarming and this is why diabetes threatens to bankrupt hospitals and health systems in the coming decades."

Professor Johnson said it was important Australians act now to meet the challenges of the diabetes epidemic.

“When we are talking about primary health networks, we need to know how many people with diabetes in these regions have diabetes care plans and are getting best practice care, how many are being screened properly for early complications like eye and kidney damage and other preventable problems,” he said.

“We need to know how many are accessing education and support so they can self-manage and better cope with the day-to-day challenges of diabetes.

“When it comes to diabetes no one is winning. There have been more than 100,000 Australians diagnosed with diabetes in the past year and around one in three hospital beds are already filled by diabetes or related complications. The updated Australian Diabetes Map provides an unprecedented opportunity for health services to tailor services and support for people affected by diabetes in their community.

“Diabetes Australia acknowledges the Federal Government’s current focus on diabetes and we believe the new National Diabetes Strategy, currently under consideration, will help shape the critical responses to the challenge of diabetes.

“It is important that we build on and expand existing assets like the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) which is an essential coordination and delivery mechanism for targeted early intervention to support the best ongoing self care and health care."

The Australian Diabetes Map, developed as part of the NDSS, is the only national geospatial map monitoring the prevalence of diabetes in Australia across variables including diabetes type, age, gender, and socio-economic disadvantage. The NDSS is an Australian Government scheme administered by Diabetes Australia.

The Australian Diabetes Map can be accessed here on the Diabetes Australia website


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