NACCHO Aboriginal #HealthElection16 News Alert : New Report confirms important improvements in the health of Aboriginal people

Info net

The Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status 2015 provides a comprehensive summary of the most recent indicators of the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status 2015

The Overview shows that that the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continues to improve slowly and that there have been declines in infant mortality rates and increase in life expectancy.

There have also been improvements in a number of areas contributing to health status such as increased immunisation coverage and a slight decrease in the prevalence of tobacco use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

http://www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/health-facts/overviews

The Overview, which draws on the most up-to-date, authoritative sources and undertakes some special analyses, is freely available on the HealthInfoNet web resource, along with downloadable PowerPoint presentations of key facts, tables, and figures. It is an important part of the HealthInfoNet’s commitment to collaborative knowledge exchange, which contributes to ‘closing the gap’ in health between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians by making research and other knowledge available in a form that is easily understood and readily accessible to both practitioners and policy makers.

HealthInfoNet Director, Professor Neil Drew said ‘The Overview is our flagship publication and has proved to be a valuable resource for a very wide range of health professionals, policy makers and others working in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector.  The Overview provides an accurate, evidence based summary of many health conditions in a form that makes it easy for time poor professionals to keep up to date with the current health status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout Australia.

This year, we have made some important changes including a greater focus on strengths based approaches. Also, as part of our ongoing commitment to using culturally respectful language we have changed the title to further acknowledge the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and peoples.’

The 2015 Overview is dedicated to the memory of the HealthInfoNet founding Director, Professor Neil Thomson, who passed away in January 2016.

Key facts

Population

  • At 30 June 2015, the estimated Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population was 729,048 people.
  • For 2015, it was estimated that NSW had the highest number of Indigenous people (225,349 people, 31% of the total Indigenous population).
  • For 2015, it was estimated that the NT had the highest proportion of Indigenous people in its population (30% of the NT population were Indigenous).
  • In 2015, around 35% of Indigenous people lived in a capital city.
  • The Indigenous population is much younger than the non-Indigenous population.

Births and pregnancy outcome

  • In 2014, there were 17,779 births registered in Australia with one or both parents identified as Indigenous (5.9% of all births registered).
  • In 2014, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers were younger than non-Indigenous mothers; the median age was 25.1 years for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and 30.9 years for all mothers.
  • In 2014, total fertility rates were 2,222 births per 1,000 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and 1,804 per 1,000 for all women.
  • In 2013, the average birthweight of babies born to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers was 3,200 grams compared with 3,361 grams for babies born to non-Indigenous mothers.
  • In 2013, the proportion of low birthweight babies born to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women was twice that of non-Indigenous women (12% compared with 6.1%).

Mortality

  • In 2009-2013, the age-standardised death rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was 1.7 times the rate for non-Indigenous people.
  • Between 1998 and 2013, there was a 16% reduction in the death rates for Indigenous people in WA, SA and the NT.
  • For Indigenous people born 2010-2012, life expectancy was estimated to be 69.1 years for males and 73.7 years for females, around 10-11 years less than the estimates for non-Indigenous males and females.
  • In 2010-2014, age-specific death rates were higher for Indigenous people than for non-Indigenous people across all age-groups, and were much higher in the young and middle adult years.
  • For 2012-2014, the infant mortality rate was higher for Indigenous infants than for non-Indigenous infants; the rate for Indigenous infants was highest in the NT.
  • From 1998 to 2012, there were significant declines in infant mortality rates for Indigenous infants.
  • For 2012, the leading causes of death among Indigenous people were cardiovascular disease, neoplasms (almost entirely cancers) and injury.
  • In 2008-2012, for direct maternal deaths the rate ratio was 2.2 times higher for Indigenous women than for non-Indigenous women.

Hospitalisation

  • In 2013-14, 4.2% of all hospitalisations were of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • In 2013-14, the age-standardised separation rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was 2.3 times higher than for other Australians.
  • In 2011-13, the main cause of hospitalisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was for ‘care involving dialysis’, responsible for 45% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander separations.

Selected health conditions

Cardiovascular disease

  • In 2012-2013, 13% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported having a long-term heart or related condition; after age-adjustment, these conditions were around 1.2 times more common for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than for non-Indigenous people.
  • In 2013-14, hospitalisation rates for circulatory disease were almost twice as high for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than for non-Indigenous people.
  • In 2013, cardiovascular disease was the leading cause of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, accounting for 24% of Indigenous deaths.
  • In 2013, the age-adjusted death rates from ischaemic heart diseases and cerebrovascular diseases for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were both 1.6 times the rates for non-Indigenous people.

Cancer

  • In 2005-2009, age-adjusted cancer incidence rates were slightly lower for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than for non-Indigenous people.
  • In 2005-2009, the most common cancers diagnosed among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were lung and breast cancers.
  • In 2012-13, age-standardised hospitalisation rates for cancer were lower for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than for non-Indigenous people.
  • In 2013, the age-standardised death rate for cancer for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was 1.3 times higher than for non-Indigenous people.

Diabetes

  • In 2012-2013, 9% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported having diabetes; after age-adjustment, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were more than 3 times more likely to report having some form of diabetes than non-Indigenous people.
  • In 2012-13, age-adjusted hospitalisation rates for diabetes for Indigenous males and females were 3.5 and 4.7 times the rates for other males and females.
  • In 2013, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people died from diabetes at 6 times the rate of non-Indigenous people.

Social and emotional wellbeing

  • In 2012-13, after age-adjustment, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were 2.7 times as likely as non-Indigenous people to feel high or very high levels of psychological distress.
  • In 2012-13, 69% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults experienced at least one significant stressor in the previous 12 months.
  • In 2012-13, 91% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported on feelings of calmness and peacefulness, happiness, fullness of life and energy either some, most, or all of the time.
  • In 2013-14, there were 16,070 hospital separations with a principal diagnosis of ICD ‘Mental and behavioural disorders’ identified as Indigenous.
  • In 2013, the death rate for ICD ‘Intentional self-harm’ (suicide) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was 2.2 times the rate reported for non-Indigenous people.

Kidney health

  • In 2010-2014, after age-adjustment, the notification rate of end stage renal disease was 6.6 times higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than for non-Indigenous people.
  • In 2011-13, ‘care involving dialysis’ was the most common reason for hospitalisation among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • In 2008-2012, the age-standardised death rate from kidney disease was 2.6 times higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than for non-Indigenous people.

Injury

  • In 2013-14, after age-adjustment, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were hospitalised for injury at nearly twice the rate for other Australians.
  • In 2012-13, the hospitalisation rate for assault was 34 times higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women than for other women.
  • In 2013, injury was the third most common cause of death among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, accounting for 15% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths.

Respiratory disease

  • In 2012-2013, 31% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported having a respiratory condition. After age-adjustment, the level of respiratory disease was 1.2 times higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander than non-Indigenous people.
  • In 2012-2013, 18% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported having asthma.
  • In 2012-13, after age-adjustment, hospitalisation rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were 4.4 times higher for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 3.3 times higher for influenza and pneumonia, 1.8 times higher for asthma, 1.8 times higher for acute upper respiratory infections and 1.4 times higher for whooping cough, than for their non-Indigenous counterparts.
  • In 2013, after age-adjustment, the death rate for respiratory disease for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was 2.0 times that for non-Indigenous people.

Eye health

  • In 2012-2013, eye and sight problems were reported by 33% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • In 2012-2013, myopia and hyperopia for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were reported at 0.8 and 1.1 times the proportions for their non-Indigenous counterparts. The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who reported blindness was 7.4 times more than for their non-Indigenous counterparts.

Ear health and hearing

  • In 2012-2013, ear/hearing problems were reported by 12% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • In 2013-14, the hospitalisation rate for ear/hearing problems for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 4-14 years was 1.6 times higher than the rate for non-Indigenous children.

Oral health

  • In 2010, in Qld, WA, SA, Tas, ACT and the NT, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children had more dental problems than non-Indigenous children.
  • In 2004-2006, caries and periodontal diseases were more prevalent among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults than among non-Indigenous adults.

Disability

  • In 2012, after age-adjustment, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were 1.7 times as likely as non-Indigenous people to have a profound/core activity restriction.

Communicable diseases

  • In 2009-2013, after age-adjustment, the notification rate for tuberculosis was 11.3 times higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than for non-Indigenous people.
  • In 2010-2015, the crude notification rate for hepatitis B was 3.6 times higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than for non-Indigenous people.
  • In 2010-2014, the crude notification rate for hepatitis C for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was 7.8 times higher than for non-Indigenous people.
  • In 2007-2010, notification rates for Haemophilus influenza type b were 12.9 times higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than for non-Indigenous people.
  • In 2007-10, the age-standardised rates of invasive pneumococcal disease were highest in the 50 years and older age-group followed by the 0-4 years age-group. Rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25-49 were almost 12 times higher than for non-Indigenous people.
  • In 2007-2010, the age-standardised notification rate of meningococcal disease was 2.7 times higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than for other Australians; the rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 0-4 years was 3.8 times higher than for their non-Indigenous counterparts.
  • In 2014, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had higher crude notification rates for gonorrhoea, syphilis and chlamydia than non-Indigenous people.
  • In 2013, age-standardised rates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) diagnosis were 1.3 times higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander than non-Indigenous people.

Factors contributing to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health

Nutrition

  • In 2012-2013, 54% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported eating an adequate amount of fruit but only 8% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported eating an adequate amount of vegetables.
  • In 2012-2013, on average, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people consumed 41% of their total daily energy in the form of discretionary foods.

Physical activity

  • In 2012-13, 47% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults in non-remote areas met the target of 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days.
  • In 2012-2013, after age-adjustment, 61% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in non-remote areas reported that they were physically inactive, a similar level to that of non-Indigenous people.

Bodyweight

  • In 2012-2013, 66% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults were classified as overweight or obese; after age-adjustment, the level of obesity/overweight was 1.2 times higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than for non-Indigenous people.

Immunisation

  • In 2014, 93% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 5 years were fully immunised against the recommended vaccine-preventable diseases.

Breastfeeding

  • In 2010, breastfeeding initiation levels were similar among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous mothers (87% and 90% respectively).

Tobacco use

  • In 2012-13, 44% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults were current smokers; after age-adjustment, this proportion was 2.5 times higher than the proportion among non-Indigenous adults.
  • In 2011, 50% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers reported smoking during pregnancy.

Alcohol use

  • In 2012-13, 23% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults abstained from alcohol; this level was 1.6 times higher than among the non-Indigenous population.
  • In 2012-2013, after age-adjustment, lifetime drinking risk was similar for both the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous population.
  • In 2011-13, after age-adjustment, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males were hospitalised at 4.5 times and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females at 3.6 times the rates of their non-Indigenous counterparts for a principal diagnosis related to alcohol use.
  • In 2008-2012, the age-standardised death rates for alcohol-related deaths for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was 4.9 times higher than for non-Indigenous people.

Illicit drug use

  • In 2012-13, 22% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults reported that they had used an illicit substance in the previous 12 months.
  • In 2008-2012, the rate of drug-induced deaths was 1.5 times higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than for non-Indigenous people.
  • NNEWS

    Send your Aboriginal Health issue message to Canberra for

    #HealthElection16

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    Stakeholders/ Aboriginal organisations

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    Closing 17 June for publishing election week 29 June

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