Menzies research has shown very high rates of diabetes among Indigenous Australians. Of particular concern are the high numbers of young people with the disease, including women of child-bearing age.

The DRUID study, conducted by the Menzies School of Health Research, is the largest Australian research project seeking to identify risk factors for diabetes among urban Indigenous communities.

Strategies that prevent diabetes are urgently needed to improve the health and wellbeing of Indigenous people.

Our research focus:
  • To discover the best ways to diagnose, treat and prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart and kidney disease.
  • To investigate lifestyle-related chronic disease, largely in Indigenous populations, to gather evidence to build positive models of health.
  • To improve outcomes for Northern Territorian women with diabetes in pregnancy, and their babies.
  • To understand body composition and its impact on obesity, diabetes and subsequently kidney disease among Indigenous Australians.
Our research impact:
  • We have demonstrated improvements over the past seven years in the quality of care provided for diabetes management, such as blood pressure checks and foot checks, and improved outcomes such as blood pressure results for health service clients.

Key staff:

Collaborators:

  • Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute
  • University of South Australia
  • AMSANT
  • Healthy Living NT
  • Northern Territory Department of Health.
  1. Stone, M., Baker, A., & Maple-Brown, L.J. (2013). Diabetes in young people in the Top End of the Northern Territory. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 49(11), 976-9.
  2. Maple-Brown, L.J., Brimblecombe, J., Connelly, P.W., Harris, S.B., Mamakeesick, M., Zinman, B., et al. (2013). Similarities and differences in cardiometabolic risk factors among remote Aboriginal Australian and Canadian cohorts. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 100(1), 133-141.
  3. Maple-Brown, L., Cunningham, J., Zinman, B., Mamakeesick, M., Harris, S.B., Connelly, P., et al. (2012). Cardiovascular disease risk profile and microvascular complications of diabetes: comparison of Indigenous cohorts with diabetes in Australia and Canada. Cardiovascular Diabetology,  11(30).
  4. Maple-Brown, L.J., Cunningham, J., Hodge, A.M., Weeramanthri, T., Dunbar, T., Lawton, P., et al. (2011). High rates of albuminuria but not of low eGFR in urban Indigenous Australians: the DRUID Study. BMC Public Health, 11(346).
  5. Maple-Brown, L. (2011). The combined burden of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in Indigenous Australians. Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports, 5(3), 215-222. (Invited Review).
  6. Maple-Brown, L.J., Cunningham, J., Nandi, N., Hodge, A., & O'Dea, K. (2010). Fibrinogen and associated risk factors in a high-risk population: urban Indigenous Australians, the DRUID Study. Cardiovascular Diabetology, 9(69).
  7. Maple-Brown, L., Sinha, A.K., & Davies, E.A. (2010). Type 2 diabetes in Indigenous Australian children and adolescents. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 46(9), 487-90.
  8. Maple-Brown, L., Cunningham, J., Barry, R.E., Leysley, L., O’Rourke, M.F., Celermajer, D.S., & O’Dea, K. (2009). Impact of dyslipidaemia on arterial structure and function in urban Indigenous Australians. Atherosclerosis, 202(1), 248-54.
  9. Maple-Brown, L., Cunningham, J., Dunne, K., Whitbread, C., Howard, D., Weeramanthri, T., et al. (2008).  Complications of diabetes in urban Indigenous Australians: the DRUID Study. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 80(3), 455-462.
  10. Maple-Brown, L.J., Cunningham, J., Celermajer, D.S., & O'Dea, K. (2007). Increased carotid intima-media thickness in remote and urban Indigenous Australians: impact of diabetes and components of the metabolic syndrome. Clinical Endocrinology, 66(3), 419.
Click here to view more diabetes publications in PubMed.
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