NACCHO Health News alert :New ABS report reveals State, Territory health status

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Tasmanians eat their vegetables, West Australians eat their fruit and Victorians are the most responsible drinkers, according to 2014-15 figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Further information can be found in National Health Survey: First Results (Additional Information) (cat. no. 4364.0.55.001) available for free download from the ABS website http://www.abs.gov.au/

Louise Gates from the ABS said today’s figures from the 2014-15 National Health Survey, provide a nationwide insight into health issues including smoking, alcohol consumption and weight across all States and Territories.

“Of all Australians, Western Australians are the most likely to consider themselves to be in excellent or very good health (60.8 per cent) and are most likely to eat the recommended daily serves of fruit (54.2 per cent),” Louise Gates, Director of Health said.

At the same time, more Western Australians consume alcohol at a level that puts them at risk of alcohol-related harm over a lifetime according to the National Health and Medical Research Council lifetime risk guidelines (20.8 per cent).

“Tasmania’s older age distribution is only part of the story in explaining their higher rates of many health conditions including Arthritis (23.4 per cent), Heart disease (7.7 per cent) and Hypertension (16.4 per cent), however Tasmania has higher rates even after age is taken into account.

“They are, however, the best state at eating their vegetables with 11.6 per cent of adults consuming the recommended daily serves of vegetables,” Ms Gates said.

The younger population of the Northern Territory only explains part of topping the smoking rate with 20.9 per cent of adults being current daily smokers compared to the Australian Capital Territory with 12.4%.

People in the Australian Capital Territory exercise the most with over half of adults aged 18-64 (55.5 per cent) participating in sufficient exercise, although it has the highest proportion of Hayfever sufferers (25.9 per cent).

Victoria had the lowest risky drinking rates with the lowest proportion exceeding both the National Health and Medical Research Council lifetime (15.6 per cent) and single occasion risk (42.5 per cent with New South Wales) guidelines.

General health

  • In 2014-15, over half (56.2%) of all Australians aged 15 years and over considered themselves to be in excellent or very good health, while 14.8% rated their health as fair or poor.
  • Around one in nine (11.7%) adults experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress, similar to 2011-12 (10.8%).

Long-term health conditions

Major long-term health conditions experienced in Australia in 2014-15 were:

  • Arthritis – 3.5 million people (15.3%)
  • Asthma – 2.5 million people (10.8%)
  • Cancer – 370,100 people (1.6%)
  • High cholesterol – 1.6 million people (7.1%)
  • Diabetes – 1.2 million people (5.1%)
  • Heart disease – 1.2 million people (5.2%)
  • Hypertension – 2.6 million people (11.3%)
  • Kidney disease – 203,400 people (0.9%)
  • Mental and behavioural conditions – 4.0 million people (17.5%)
  • Osteoporosis – 801,800 people (3.5%)

Health risk factors

Smoking

  • Rates of daily smoking have continued to drop, to 14.5% (2.6 million) of adults smoking in 2014-15, compared with 16.1% in 2011-12 and 22.4% in 2001.
  • Proportionally, more men smoke daily than women (16.9% and 12.1%, respectively).
  • Smoking rates for young adults (18-44 years) have decreased to 16.3% in 2014-15 from 28.2% in 2001.
  • Rates of daily smoking are higher in the Outer Regional and Remote areas of Australia (20.9%), compared with Inner Regional areas (16.7%) and Major Cities (13.0%).

Overweight and obesity

  • In 2014-15, 63.4% of Australian adults were overweight or obese (11.2 million people). This is similar to the prevalence of overweight and obesity in 2011-12 (62.8%) and an increase since 1995 (56.3%).
  • Around one in four (27.4%) children aged 5-17 years were overweight or obese, similar to 2011-12 (25.7%).

Alcohol consumption

  • In 2014-15, 17.4% of adults consumed more than the recommended two standard drinks per day on average (exceeding the National Health and Medical Research Council lifetime risk guidelines), down from 19.5% in 2011-12.
  • One in four (25.8%) men and one in ten (9.3%) women exceeded the lifetime risk guidelines.
  • 44.0% of adults consumed more than four standard drinks at least once in the past year, exceeding the National Health and Medical Research Council single occasion risk guidelines.

Blood pressure

  • In 2014-15, 23.0% of adults (4.1 million people) had measured high blood pressure (systolic or diastolic blood pressure equal to or greater than 140/90 mmHg), higher than in 2011-12 (21.5%).

Daily intake of fruit and vegetables

  • In 2014-15, nearly one in two (49.8%) adults met the Australian Dietary Guidelines for recommended daily serves of fruit, while 7.0% met the guidelines for serves of vegetables. Only one in twenty (5.1%) adults met both guidelines.
  • Nearly seven in ten (68.1%) children aged 2-18 years met the guidelines for recommended daily serves of fruit, while 5.4% met the guidelines for serves of vegetables. Only one in twenty (5.1%) children met both guidelines.

Exercise

  • In 2014-15, 55.5% of 18-64 year olds participated in sufficient physical activity in the last week (more than 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or more than 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both, including walking). Nearly one in three (29.7%) were insufficiently active (less than 150 minutes in the last week) while 14.8% were inactive (no exercise in the last week).

Further information can be found in National Health Survey: First Results (Additional Information) (cat. no. 4364.0.55.001) available for free download from the ABS website http://www.abs.gov.au/

Media note:

  • More than two standard drinks a day exceeds the 2009 National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines for reducing the risk of alcohol-related harm over a lifetime.
  • More than four standard drinks on a single occasion exceeds the 2009 National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines for reducing the risk of alcohol-related injury arising from that occasion.
  • Sufficient physical activity (duration and session) is defined as 150 minutes of physical activity over five or more sessions per week including walking for fitness/transport, moderate and/or vigorous physical activity.

 

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