Australia is in the top 10 countries with the highest rates of type 1 diabetes in children, with about 1,000 children 14 years and younger developing this type of diabetes each year, according to a report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
The report provides the latest information from Australia’s National Diabetes Register (NDR). The register applies to Australians who began using insulin for diabetes since 1999.
"There were about 7,000 children who developed type 1 diabetes over the 8-year 2000–2007 period," said Katherine Faulks of the Institute’s Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes and Kidney Unit.
"There were 990 new cases in 2007, a 30% increase compared with the number of new cases in 2000," she said.
The report, Insulin-treated diabetes in Australia, 2000–2007, also looked at insulin-treated cases of type 2 diabetes and found that there were almost 6,000 new cases in people aged 15–34 years of age over the 8-year period.
However, the vast majority (95%) of new cases still occurred in people aged 35 and over.
"Across all ages, there was a 63% increase in new cases of insulin-treated type 2 diabetes, between 2000 and 2007," Ms Faulks said.
According to the report, about 1 in 5 people with type 2 diabetes use insulin to treat their condition.
The report also found that there was a 6-fold increase in the number of new cases of insulin-treated gestational diabetes among women aged 15–49 years between 2000 and 2007.
"All these numbers are saying the same thing, which is that the incidence of insulin-treated diabetes in Australia is increasing, no matter what the age group or the type of diabetes," Ms Faulks said.
(Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: September 2009)