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Type 2 Diabetes Costs in Australia

Close to one million (7.5%) Australian adults have diabetes mellitus and it is estimated that by the year 2010 this will increase to 1.23 million. Diabetes mellitus accounts for 5% of the total burden of disease and is the seventh leading cause of Australian deaths. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form representing 85-90% of those with diabetes mellitus. This report provides estimates for the direct health care costs of Type 2 diabetes attributable to obesity, and the potential impact on costs of diet and physical activity interventions.

Close to one million (7.5%) Australian adults have diabetes mellitus and it is estimated that by the year 2010 this will increase to 1.23 million. Diabetes mellitus accounts for 5% of the total burden of disease and is the seventh leading cause of Australian deaths. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form representing 85-90% of those with diabetes mellitus. This report provides estimates for the direct health care costs of Type 2 diabetes attributable to obesity, and the potential impact on costs of diet and physical activity interventions.

Obesity is an important risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, with increasing BMI associated with greater risk of Type 2 diabetes. The relative risk (RR) of Type 2 diabetes has been estimated to be 1.8 for overweight adults (BMI 25-<30kg/m2) and 3.2 for obese individuals (BMI 30kg+/m2). Data from the 1995 National Nutrition Survey showed that approximately 55% of Australian adults were overweight or obese. Based on these figures, it was estimated here that 41% of Type 2 diabetes in Australia is attributable to overweight and obesity (17% for overweight; 24% for obesity).

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Type 2 Diabetes Costs in Australia