The AusDiab study was funded through a National Health and Medical Research Council grant and followed 11,000 Australians for 12 years.
Researchers found the incidence of diabetes remained very high, with almost 270 adult Australians diagnosed each day, and people aged 25-34 were gaining more weight than other age groups. Patients with diabetes were also found more likely to suffer other conditions as well. Prevalence of depression in patients with diabetes was 65%, which was much higher than those without diabetes.
Study leader Professor Jonathan Shaw says the link between diabetes and depression is complex. "It appears there's a bit of a two-way street here. People with depression are more likely to develop conditions like diabetes, partly because they feel less able to pursue healthy lifestyles."
Professor Shaw says people with diabetes also had twice the rate of cognitive impairment compared to those without diabetes. "One of the biggest contradictions is that we are seeing people living longer but with higher rates of chronic diseases. So their quality of life is compromised by disease," he said.
Aus Diab 2012 report
List of available reports from the study
Long-term study finds Australian adults increasingly at risk of diabetes and obesity (ABC)