4715.0.55.006 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Summary Booklet, 2004-05  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/02/2007  First Issue
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Image: Long-Term Health Conditions

    Around two-thirds of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported having at least one long-term health condition. Indigenous people living in remote areas were less likely to report a long-term health condition than those in non-remote areas. The most commonly reported conditions were eye/sight problems (30%), asthma (15%), back and disc disorders (13%), heart/circulatory diseases (12%) and ear/hearing problems (12%).
    Heart and circulatory problems/diseases

    In 2004–05, around one in eight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported a long-term health condition relating to the circulatory system, such as heart disease or hypertensive disease (high blood pressure). These problems were more commonly reported in remote areas (14%) than non-remote areas (11%). These conditions become more common as people get older—more than half (54%) of Indigenous Australians aged 55 years and over reported having heart and circulatory problems/disease. Hypertensive disease (high blood pressure) was the most commonly reported heart and circulatory condition among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in 2004–05.


    The prevalence of diabetes (including high sugar levels) among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was 6% in 2004–05. Diabetes was almost twice as likely to be reported by Indigenous Australians in remote areas as it was in non-remote areas. After accounting for age differences between the two populations, Indigenous Australians were more than three times as likely as non-Indigenous Australians to report some form of diabetes.

    Graph: Prevalence of diabetes by indigenous status and age