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Diabetes and related disorders in urban Indigenous people in the Darwin region

DRUID: Diabetes and related disorders in urban Indigenous people in the Darwin region

The DRUID Study was started to find out about diabetes and other chronic diseases in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in and around Darwin. Most Indigenous Australians live in cities and towns, but most of what we know about the health of Indigenous people comes from remote communities. This study involved two phases. The first phase started in mid-2003 and finished in mid-2005, involving free health checks for eligible peopled aged 15 years and over. We also asked people about their health and their lives. Just over a thousand people took part in the study.

The study’s second phase has looked more closely at some markers of diet, called cartenoids, that were measured in the blood. As part of the second phase we also developed a new tool for measuring people’s experiences of racism and the responses they had to it when it happened.

Summary of outcomes

Diabetes and Cardiovascular risk factors

Diabetes was common among people who took part in the study. The incidence was higher as people got older.

Perceived versus actual weight

Experiences of racism

As part of the study we developed a new tool for measuring people's experiences of racism and the responses they had to it when it happened. Experiences of racism were very commonly reported across a range of settings, such as at home, work or in public places, by the police or by staff of government agencies, or while shopping or playing sport.

Complications of diabetes

Some people who participated in the study already knew they had diabetes, while others found out they had diabetes as a result of having the health check. For everyone else with diabetes, we did some extra health checks to look for common problems that can go with diabetes, such as problems with the eyes, kidneys, heart and feet.

Management of diabetes

The first phase of the study started in the middle of 2003 and finished in mid-2005. The second phase of the study was completed under the Lowitja Institute.

Related resources:
Project leader

Joan Cunningham

Contact:

N/A

Administering institution:

Menzies School of Health Research