Australian Bureau of Statistics
1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2004
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/02/2004
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In general, females were more likely than males to report having experienced most of the selected long-term conditions. Females were also more likely to consult health professionals. For example, in 2001 it was estimated that 27% of females had consulted a doctor in the two weeks prior to the survey interview, compared with 21% of males. Females also have a longer life expectancy which is reflected in more females in the older age groups where long-term conditions are common. Adult males had a higher prevalence of neoplasms and hearing loss.
The proportion of people who reported having a circulatory system disease increased steadily with age (graph 9.3). For example, 1.3% of 0-4 year olds were reported to have a circulatory system disease compared to 67% of those aged 85 years and over. The types of circulatory system diseases also change with age. Young children and babies are more likely to suffer from congenital heart diseases while for older people, high blood pressure (hypertensive disease) is the most common circulatory disease.
The proportion of those reporting a mental or behavioural condition rises in the early-teen years and remains stable until their early 60s when the proportion declines. In the ages up to the mid-teens, males have a higher rate of mental disorders than females. However, during the teenage and adult years, the prevalence of mental disorders of females overtakes those of males. This is due mainly to the increase of mood disorders such as depression. Mood disorder rates start to decline for women around their early 70s, the age from which overall mental disorder rates between males and females are similar.
Age is also a determining factor for self-reported asthma rates. The prevalence rises from 8.2% for 0-4 year olds up to 18% for 15-19 year olds, before steadily declining with age.
There were 128,544 deaths registered in 2001, consisting of 66,835 male and 61,709 female deaths. The number of deaths registered in 2001 represented an increase of 0.2% on the corresponding figure for 2000 (128,291 deaths). Malignant neoplasms (cancer) and ischaemic heart diseases were the leading underlying causes of death, accounting for 29% and 20% respectively of total deaths registered (table 9.4).
During the decade up to 2001, the total number of deaths registered annually increased by approximately 7.3%. However, the standardised death rate of 662 deaths per 100,000 population in 2001 was 20% lower than the corresponding rate of 829 in 1991. These outcomes are consistent with continuing improvements in life expectancy in Australia.
Over the 10 years to 2001, there were quite different patterns of decline in the two leading causes of death, malignant neoplasms and ischaemic heart diseases, which together account for nearly half the total deaths. Between 1991 and 2001, the standardised death rate for malignant neoplasms decreased by 10%, while the rate for ischaemic heart diseases decreased by 37% (graph 9.5).
Healthy life expectancy
The WHO has proposed healthy life expectancy as a measure of the expected number of years to be lived without reduced functioning. Healthy life expectancy calculations adjust the overall life expectancy (see Life expectancy -Population) by the years of life lived with reduced functioning because of ill health.
Australia's healthy life expectancy is among the highest in the world. Australian males can expect to live 70.1 years of life without reduced functioning, and females 73.2 years. Table 9.6 shows healthy life expectancy for selected countries in 2001.
Infant mortality rates (IMR)
IMR is defined as the number of deaths per 1,000 live births between birth and exactly one year of age. According to the United Nations, the projected world infant mortality rate for 2000-05 is 55 infant deaths per 1,000 live births. Australia stands at 5 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, which is among the lowest in the world (table 9.7). Overall the most developed regions have an IMR (8 per 1,000 live births) much lower than the less developed regions (59 per 1,000 live births) and the least developed countries (92 per 1,000 live births) (table 9.7).
This page last updated 24 March 2006
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