As in previous surveys, in addition to ‘chasing’ missing data, correcting data and removing duplicate records [pp 8-9], data were ‘normalised’ where possible to enable comparison (HbA1c and microalbumin / proteinuria, relative to the upper limit of normal range). Whilst every effort has been made not to over-interpret any of the data from this initiative, they do represent important current data that when referenced in context, provide hitherto unavailable data on the status of individuals attending specialist diabetes services. Indeed it is noteworthy that some of these data, (including blood pressure and lipids), have been previously utilised by the AIHW as a data source for several national diabetes indicators [including those reported in the NHPA (National Health Priority Area) Diabetes biennial Report provided to all Health Ministers in 19997, ‘Australia’s Health’ 2000, 2004, 2006 and 200816 which reported complications data, ‘Diabetes: Australian Facts’ 2002 and 200817, and ‘Use of medicines by Australians with diabetes’18]. Additionally, ANDIAB has again been recently acknowledged as a valuable potential source of diabetes data19, 20.
There is also the potential within the data to look at other issues, for example:
- mean HbA1c, BMI, age and diabetes duration, for Type 2 diabetes individuals treated with diet only versus tablets alone versus insulin alone versus treatment with insulin and tablets [presented in Appendix 7 with comparison to previous ANDIAB surveys],
- LDL Cholesterol data [see section 2.4.6];
- Glomerular Filtration Rate [see section 2.4.7]; and
- Complications Assessments [see Complications - [a] Overall Complications, [b] Vascular Complications & Smoking Status, [c] Cardiac Disease and Lipid Therapy and [d] Vascular Disease and Anti-Hypertensive Therapy].
The new items from 2009 on specific Oral Hypoglycaemic Agents (retained in 2011) have provided data not previously sought in ANDIAB, and the findings and analyses presented in section 2.7.6 give insight into the individual therapies and combinations in use. Similarly, data on combinations of antihypertensive and Lipid Lowering Therapies, and on Aspirin / Clopidogrel use, provide useful comparative data across several ANDIAB Surveys.
Because the data have standardised definitions, and the dataset is internationally compatible, the possibility to compare and benchmark with others also exists, and indeed has occurred21.
ANDIAB 2011 had participation of every State and Territory (except NT), with the equal second largest number of participating sites  since 1999, and the fourth largest number of individuals’ data ever reported . By these criteria it has been a successful initiative again this year.