Australian Bureau of Statistics
4704.0 - The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2008
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/04/2008
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Chronic alcohol consumption
In 2004-05, Indigenous people aged 18 years and over were more likely than non-Indigenous people to abstain from drinking alcohol (table 8.6). Of those who did consume alcohol in the week prior to the survey, one in six Indigenous adults (16%) reported long-term (or chronic) risky/high risk alcohol consumption, up from 13% in 2001. In non-remote areas, the proportion of Indigenous adults who drank at chronic risky/high risk levels increased from 12% in 2001 to 17% in 2004-05.
Indigenous men were more likely than Indigenous women to drink at long-term risky/high risk levels (19% compared with 14%). This was evident in all broad age groups under 55 years (graph 8.5). While rates of risky/high risk drinking were similar for Indigenous people in remote and non-remote areas, people in remote areas were nearly three times as likely as those in non-remote areas to report never having consumed alcohol (18% compared with 6%).
8.5 CHRONIC RISKY/HIGH RISK ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION(a), Indigenous persons aged 18 years and over - 2004-05
Indigenous people who drank at long-term risky/high risk levels were more likely than those who drank at low risk levels to report fair/poor health (25% compared with 18%) and were less likely to report excellent or very good health (35% compared with 45%). Chronic risky/high risk alcohol consumption was also associated with higher rates of tobacco smoking (69% compared with 48% of low risk drinkers), high/very high levels of psychological distress (32% compared with 24%) and hypertensive disease (23% compared with 16% for those aged 35 years and over).
After adjusting for age differences between the two populations, the rates of chronic risky/high risk drinking were similar for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in 2004-05 (table 8.6).
In 2004-05, more than half (55%) of Indigenous people aged 18 years and over reported drinking at short-term risky/high risk levels on at least one occasion in the last 12 months. One in five (19%) reported drinking at these levels at least once a week. Rates of weekly binge drinking were lower among older age groups, ranging from 23% of those aged 18-24 years to 9% of those aged 55 years and over. In all age groups, regular binge drinking was more common among Indigenous males than Indigenous females. Overall, 24% of males drank at short-term risky/high risk levels on a weekly basis compared with 15% of females.
Regular binge drinking was associated with poorer health and wellbeing among Indigenous young people in 2004-05. Indigenous people aged 18-34 years who reported binge drinking at least once a week were less likely to say their health was excellent/very good compared with those who had not consumed alcohol in the last 12 months (43% compared with 58%). They were also more likely to report high/very high levels of psychological distress in the four weeks prior to interview (35% compared with 21%). Weekly binge drinkers were also more likely than those who had not consumed alcohol in the last year to regularly smoke (67% compared with 37%) and, in non-remote areas, to have recently used illicit substances (43% compared with 11%).
In 2004-05, rates of binge drinking were higher for Indigenous than non-Indigenous people in every age group (graph 8.7). After adjusting for age differences between the two populations, Indigenous Australians were twice as likely as non-Indigenous Australians to drink at short-term risky/high risk levels at least once a week.
This page last updated 27 May 2010
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