The Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle (AusDiab) study is the largest Australian longitudinal population-based study examining the natural history of diabetes, pre-diabetes (in which glucose metabolism is impaired but not to the level to cause diabetes), heart disease and kidney disease.
The baseline study conducted in 1999-2000 provided benchmark national data on the prevalence (or number of people) with diabetes, obesity, hypertension and kidney disease in Australia. The second phase of AusDiab, completed in December 2005, is a five year follow-up of the people who participated in the baseline survey. The results of the follow-up provide a unique picture of the incidence (or number of new cases) of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and kidney disease over five years, and allows us to improve our understanding of the factors that increase the risk of these conditions.
AusDiab is a field survey involving both physical testing as well as questionnaires. A team of researchers went to each of the 42 randomly selected testing sites around Australia to individually test each of the 11,247 individuals who participated in the baseline study in 1999-2000. Six and a half thousand of these original participants came back to attend a similar survey five years later in 2004-2005. In addition, self-reported health information was obtained from more than 2000 of those who could not attend the survey site. In 2011 and 2012, a third survey was conducted, allowing an unprecedented opportunity to map the changing impact that diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease have on the Australian population. The findings of the third survey will be released in 2013.
AusDiab sister studies
AusDiab was designed to be representative of the general Australian population aged over 25 years. Two sister studies to AusDiab, using similar testing methods, have also been conducted to examine the impact of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases among the Australian urban indigenous population (the DRUID study), and a rural Victorian population (the Crossroads study).
The AusDiab study is funded by the Federal Government through a National Health and Medical Research Council grant, as well as support from State governments, academic and industry partners. Numerous peer reviewed publications in international journals have resulted from the study, which continues to grow in stature in the eyes of the scientific community in Australia and abroad.
The AusDiab Study was awarded the 2006 Victorian Department of Human Services Public Health Research Award for Excellence.