Diabetes: more than a spiralling health issue 14 November 2014 Diabetes and its complications are leading causes of death, illness and disability in Australia. An AIHW report in 2010 forecast that type 2 diabetes would become the number one cause of disease burden (combining death and disability) in the next 5 years. The number of people diagnosed continues to grow by around 280 new cases every day. Approximately 1.7 million Australians are affected when we include all types of diabetes. In a new Diabetes Australia report commissioned from Deloitte Access Economics, the productivity impact of this highly prevalent, chronic health condition has been quantified.