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Release of the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health survey: first results, Australia, 2012-13

Posted on: 2 December, 2013
Issue: Vol 13 No 4, October 2013 - December 2013
Related to Health Cardiovascular health Diabetes Ear health Eye health Kidney health Respiratory health Social and emotional wellbeing Nutrition Population Overweight and obesity Physical activity Alcohol use Tobacco use

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health survey: first results, Australia, 2012-13. The survey provides a platform for a range of new research into health determinants and patterns, supporting critical assessment of progress in ‘closing the gap’ in health outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people.

The survey focuses on long-term health conditions, health risk factors, selected social and emotional wellbeing indicators, health measurements and health-related actions, and includes Indigenous people living in both remote and non-remote areas.

The survey expands on the information collected in previous Indigenous health surveys conducted by the ABS, and includes:

  • estimates of the prevalence of certain chronic diseases, conditions, and selected behavioural risk factors (including physical activity)
  • objective measures of selected chronic diseases, nutrition status and other risk factors which can be combined with self-reported data about health status and conditions (e.g. diabetes)
  • health risk factors and outcomes for different population groups of interest, such as different age-groups and people living in remote and non-remote areas.

Some of the key findings of the survey include:

  • after age-adjustment, Indigenous people aged 15 years and over were around half as likely as non-Indigenous people to report excellent or very good health (rate ratio of 0.6)
  • in 2012-13, one-in-six (18%) Indigenous people reported having asthma
  • in 2012-13, around one-in-eight (12%) Indigenous people reported diseases of the ear and/or hearing problems
  • rates for diabetes/high sugar were between three and five times higher for Indigenous people as those for non-Indigenous people in all age-groups from 25 years and over
  • in 2012-13, 41% of Indigenous people reported daily smoking, which was lower than the levels reported in 2008 (45%) and 2002 (51%)
  • in 2012-13, 60% of Indigenous men aged 18 years and over had a waist circumference that put them at an increased risk of developing chronic diseases, while 81% of Indigenous women had an increased level of risk
  • between 2001 and 2012-13, consultation rates for general practice/specialist and dental professionals have remained largely unchanged.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics



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