Indigenous diabetes has now reached crisis point

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, diabetes is the underlying cause of death in 8% of all deaths in the Indigenous population.

There are a number of factors contributing to this epidemic. Among them are social disadvantage, dietary changes, genetics and epigenetics. There are also great challenges in the management of diabetes in remote settings, particularly in the context of limited medical services, poor housing and education.

Compliance with complex treatment regimes including tablets, insulin injections, blood glucose testing and diet is extremely difficult and, as a result, control of diabetes is often very poor. 

Indigenous patients have some of the highest complication rates in the world with renal failure and lower limb amputations rates being the most notable. 

When compared to non-Indigenous Australians, the Indigenous population has a 2.5 to 5.2-fold higher risk of proteinuria and 3.1 to 8.1-fold higher