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Increasing incidence of type 2 diabetes in Indigenous and non-Indigenous children in Western Australia, 1990–2012

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An increase in the incidence of childhood type 2 diabetes (T2D) has been reported in several populations worldwide, including Australia, with the highest risk being observed in children of Indigenous descent.13 In Western Australia, children throughout the state who are diagnosed with T2D are managed by a single multidisciplinary team at Princess Margaret Hospital, WA’s only tertiary paediatric hospital. In this study, we aimed to determine the incidence and incidence rate trends of childhood T2D in Indigenous and non-Indigenous children in WA.

We undertook a retrospective population-based cohort study of children aged less than 17 years who were diagnosed with T2D in WA between 1990 and 2012, inclusive. Data were obtained from the previously described Western Australian Children’s Diabetes Database.3 T2D was diagnosed according to current guidelines, based on both clinical and laboratory findings.4 Patients identifying themselves as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent were considered to be of Indigenous descent.

Incidence rates were calculated by age, sex and Indigenous status, per 100 000 person-years at risk, using cases of T2D as the numerator and population data obtained from the Australian Bureau of Statistics as the denominator. Incidence…