DFA Guides You Through: The estimated burden of diabetes-related foot disease in Australia in 2017

The backbone behind any campaign is an estimated burden of the current situation. Only when you know the size of a problem, can you adequately discuss ways to solve the problem. Together with the Australian diabetic foot community, we at Diabetes Feet Australia (DFA) aim to end avoidable amputations in a generation. To reach this goal, we needed to estimate the burden of diabetes-related foot disease (DFD) in Australia. We estimate that on any given day in 2017 Australia has:

  • 300,000 people at-risk of developing DFD
  • 50,000 people living with DFD
  • 12,500 people living with a diabetes-related amputation
  • 1,000 people in hospital because of DFD [27,600 hospitalisations each year]
  • 12 people undergoing a diabetes-related amputation [4,400 amputations each year]
  • 4 people dying because of DFD [1,700 deaths each year]
  • $4 million spent directly managing DFD [$1.6billion spent each year] (1)

As you may have seen, we have used these numbers as the backbone of the Australian diabetes-related foot disease strategy 2018-2022: The first step towards ending avoidable amputations within a generation. And as you may have also seen, some of these numbers are currently being widely used by Diabetes Australia and other partners of DFA. So how did we estimate this national burden and which numbers are most accurate? Time for us to “Guide You Through” these statistics we say.