Characteristics of Indigenous adults with poorly controlled diabetes in north Queensland: implications for services

Johnson, David Ross, McDermott, Robyn Anne, Clifton, Peter Marshall, D'Onise, Katina, Taylor, Sean Matthew, Preece, Cilla Louise, and Schmidt, Barbara Anne (2015) Characteristics of Indigenous adults with poorly controlled diabetes in north Queensland: implications for services. BMC Public Health, 15. 325. pp. 1-8.

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Background: Indigenous Australian adults with diabetes continue to have suboptimal clinical control and poorer outcomes compared with non-Indigenous people although there is a paucity of data documenting the detailed health status of Indigenous people in Australia. To further investigate the characteristics of Indigenous Australian adults with poorly controlled diabetes we analysed baseline data from a cluster randomized trial aiming to deliver a program of integrated community-based intensive chronic disease management for Indigenous people in remote communities in far north Queensland, Australia.

Methods: Indigenous adults aged 18 to 65 years from 12 clinics in rural north Queensland with established type 2 diabetes and with HbA1c ≥8.5% were invited to participate. The primary outcome variable measured at baseline was HbA1c. Other variables measured included socio-demographic indicators, health literacy, BMI, blood pressure, lipids, renal function, smoking status and quality of life measures. Data were collected between December 2010 and July 2011. Analysis was performed by ethnicity – Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Results: One hundred and ninety three participants were included in the analysis. Very high rates of albuminuria, high rates of smoking, dyslipidaemia, hypertension and elevated BMI were recorded. Aboriginal participants reported higher levels of socio-economic disadvantage, higher smoking rates, lower BMI and worse self-reported health status than Torres Strait Islander participants.

Conclusion: These results demonstrate a high potential for improved culturally sound community-based management of diabetes and other comorbid conditions in this very high risk population. They also provide further evidence for including albuminuria in cardiovascular risk calculation.

Item ID: 39083
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-2458
Keywords: diabetes mellitus type 2, Indigenous, albuminuria, risk factors, primary health care
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© 2015 Johnson et al.; licensee BioMed Central.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC Grant No. 570149
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2015 03:11
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111717 Primary Health Care @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920104 Diabetes @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920302 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Health Status and Outcomes @ 50%
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