Diabetes is a significant health concern for seniors in Australia. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, in 2017-18:
- Around 1.3 million Australians aged 65 years and over had diabetes, which represents around 47% of all Australians with diabetes in that age group.
- Type 2 diabetes was the most common form of diabetes among seniors, accounting for around 86% of all cases.
- The prevalence of diabetes increased with age, with around 14% of Australians aged 65-74 having diabetes, rising to 24% of those aged 75-84, and 29% of those aged 85 and over.
- The incidence of diabetes was higher among males than females in the 65-74 age group, but this trend reversed among those aged 75 and over.
An estimated 33% of adults aged 65 or older have diabetes. In 2020, the prevalence of diabetes increased with age with almost 1 in 5 Australians aged 80–84 living with diabetes – almost 30 times as high as for those aged under 40. The figures are likely to underestimate the true prevalence of diabetes in the Australian population. This is because they are based on people who have received a formal medical diagnosis of diabetes. However, Australian studies have shown that many people are living with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes
These statistics highlight the significant impact that diabetes has on the senior population in Australia. Managing diabetes in seniors can be challenging, as it often requires careful coordination of medication, diet, and lifestyle factors. However, with the right support and resources, seniors with diabetes can lead healthy and fulfilling lives.