Non-Communicable Disease Risk Factors Among the South Asian Migrants Living in Australia

School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences
Dr Lal Rawal
Professor Corneel Vandelanotte, Associate Professor Karena Burke, Dr Robyn Preston


Chronic non-communicable diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, chronic obstructive and pulmonary diseases, are the major causes of death and disability in Australia. In 2016, diabetes affected around 1.2 million (4.9%) people and caused over 16,000 (10%) deaths in Australia. Evidence suggests that, in Australia, the migrant population are disproportionately affected by the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The major NCDs include diabetes, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and mental health. The risk of NCDs are increased due to unhealthy lifestyle (tobacco, intake of high energy food/ drinks, physical inactivity, increased sedentary activities, and harmful use of alcohol), lack of capacity in seeking care and access to and use of health services. This study aims to determine overall burden of non-communicable diseases and associated risk factors among the migrants living in Australia, in particularly those living in NSW and Victoria.

Following are the research questions (RQs) to this study: 
RQ1: What is the current burden of NCD (primarily diabetes, hypertension and mental health problems) and associated risk factors (such as food habit, physical activity, lifestyle related factors, anthropometric measures etc.) among the migrants living in NSW and Victoria? 
RQ2: What are the services available to the migrants that address the problems associated with NCD and risk factors and how are they being utilised? 
RQ3: What are the socio-cultural aspects related to health behaviours of migrants and the factors responsible for the development of NCDs? 
RQ4: What are the challenges and facilitators to improving healthy behaviour and access to and use of NCD and related health services? 
RQ5: What is the potential for developing an effective intervention approach to address the problem of NCDs and associated risk factors among the migrants living in Australia?

Medical and Health Sciences
Non-communicable diseases, Diabetes prevention and management, Health behaviour and health promotion
January 2020 


This project is open to either Domestic or International students. For international students, this project is associated with the International Engaged Research Scholarship, which offers a 20% reduction in tuition fees for eligible international students.

Other special notes

Funding is also provided by CQUniversity to support research higher degree student project costs, and to support national and international conference presentations. This includes:

For masters by research candidates:

  • up to $4,000 in Candidate Support Funds
  • up to $3,000 for Candidate Travel Support

For doctoral candidates:

  • up to $6,000 in Candidate Support Funds
  • up to $4,500 for Conference Travel Support

Project contacts