Document Type



Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

Place of Publication

Mt Lawley, Western Australia


Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet


Garvey, D. (2008). Review of the social and emotional wellbeing of Indigenous Australian peoples. Retrieved from:

Available here.


The first case of diabetes among Indigenous people was recorded in Adelaide in 1923. Records prior to this time showed that Indigenous people were fit, lean, and did not suffer from any form of metabolic condition, which were largely believed to be a characteristic of European populations. The earliest detailed studies investigating the development of diabetes in Indigenous populations were not undertaken, however, until the early 1960s. These and subsequent studies found a significant correlation between the development of a ‘westernised’ lifestyle and the levels of type 2 diabetes in the Indigenous population.

Since that time, type 2 diabetes has been recognised as one of the most important health problems for Indigenous populations across Australia, with the overall prevalence likely to be around four times that of the general population. As well as making a major contribution directly to the excess mortality experienced by many Indigenous populations, type 2 diabetes is associated with a number of other chronic conditions, particularly renal disease. Type 2 diabetes is also responsible for a variety of complications, the frequency of which are likely to increase in the future.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.