Aims To characterise long-term mortality trends for diabetes in Australia during the 20th century, and to provide suggestions to health policy-makers. Methods A descriptive study was conducted using existing dataset. Deaths due to diabetes, as underlying cause of death, from 1907 to 1998 were tallied, according to the ICD-9. Trends in diabetes mortality (overall population, under-19 and over 40-year-old age groups) by gender were examined. Results There was a slightly increasing trend in the mortality rate in males over the study period, from 14.38/100,000 in 1907 to 16.05/100,000 in 1998. Among females, it started from 19.6/100,000 in 1907, reached the peak in early 1940s and then decreased to 10.61/100,000 in 1998. There was a reversal sex ratio after late 1960s with mortality rates among males were higher than females after 1969. There was a significant difference in overall mortality between males and females over study period (p < 0.001). The mortality trend among the 40 years and over group was similar to the overall population. The death rates for the under-19 group declined significantly over the study period (p < 0.001), but no difference between males and females was detected (p > 0.05). Conclusions The application of insulin played an important role in the reduction of diabetes mortality among the under-19-year-old group. New medical treatment methods to reduce chronic complications and other public health interventions could have made a recent contribution to reducing death rates. It is also probable that over the study period there has been an increase in the likelihood of diabetes being correctly diagnosed.
Bi, P., Parton, K., & Donald, K. (2005). Secular trends in mortality rates for diabetes in Australia 1907-1998. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 70(3), 270-277. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.diabres.2005.03.035