Study Protocol – Diabetes and related conditions in urban Indigenous people in the Darwin, Australia region: aims, methods and participation in the DRUID StudyReport as inadecuate

Study Protocol – Diabetes and related conditions in urban Indigenous people in the Darwin, Australia region: aims, methods and participation in the DRUID Study - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

BMC Public Health

, 6:8

First Online: 17 January 2006Received: 20 December 2005Accepted: 17 January 2006DOI: 10.1186-1471-2458-6-8

Cite this article as: Cunningham, J., O-Dea, K., Dunbar, T. et al. BMC Public Health 2006 6: 8. doi:10.1186-1471-2458-6-8


BackgroundDiabetes mellitus is a serious and increasing health problem in Australia and is a designated national health priority. Diabetes and related conditions represent an even greater health burden among Indigenous Australians Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, but there are critical gaps in knowledge relating to the incidence and prevalence, aetiology, and prevention of diabetes in this group, including a lack of information on the burden of disease among Indigenous people in urban areas. The DRUID Study Diabetes and Related conditions in Urban Indigenous people in the Darwin region was designed to address this knowledge gap.

Methods-designThe study was conducted in a specified geographic area in and around Darwin, Australia. Eligible participants underwent a health examination, including collection of blood and urine samples, clinical and anthropometric measurements, and administration of questionnaires, with an additional assessment for people with diabetes. The study was designed to incorporate local Indigenous leadership, facilitate community engagement, and provide employment and training opportunities for local Indigenous people. A variety of recruitment methods were used. A total of 1,004 eligible people gave consent and provided at least one measurement. When compared with census data for the Indigenous population living in the study area, there was a marked under-representation of males, but no substantial differences in age, place of residence, Indigenous group, or household income. Early participants were more likely than later participants to have previously diagnosed diabetes.

DiscussionDespite lower than anticipated recruitment, this is, to our knowledge, the largest study ever conducted on the health of Indigenous Australians living in urban areas, a group which comprises the majority of Australia-s Indigenous population but about whose health and wellbeing relatively little is known. The study is well-placed to provide new information that can be used by policy makers and service providers to improve the delivery of services and programs that affect the health of Indigenous people. It also represents a valuable opportunity to establish an urban Indigenous cohort study, provided participants can be followed successfully over time.

AbbreviationsABSAustralian Bureau of Statistics

ACRalbumin-creatinine ratio

AHSAboriginal Health Service

ATSICAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission

DRUIDDiabetes and Related disorders in Urban Indigenous people in the Darwin region


ERPestimated resident population

GFRglomerular filtration rate

HbA1cglycosylated hemoglobin

HDLhigh density lipoprotein


IFGimpaired fasting glucose

IGTimpaired glucose tolerance

ISGIndigenous Steering Group

NTNorthern Territory

NTDHCSNorthern Territory Department of Health and Community Services

PCOSpolycystic ovary syndrome

RPMrevolutions per minute

TRGTechnical Reference Group

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2458-6-8 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Joan Cunningham - Kerin O-Dea - Terry Dunbar - Tarun Weeramanthri - Paul Zimmet - Jonathan Shaw


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