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

Med J Aust. 1995 Aug 7;163(3):129-32. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.1995.tb127959.x.


Objective: 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 (22,202 households and 54,241 people) ensured adequate representation from each State and Territory in Australia.

Results: Prevalences 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.

Conclusions: Australia has comparatively low total prevalences of self-reported diabetes/high blood sugar levels. High prevalences subsections exist, including the elderly and certain migrant groups

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / ethnology
  • Europe / ethnology
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / epidemiology
  • Hyperglycemia / ethnology
  • Infant
  • Language
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • National Health Programs
  • Prevalence