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4364.0.55.003 - Australian Health Survey: Updated Results, 2011-2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/06/2013  First Issue
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MEDIA RELEASE
7 June 2013
Embargo: 11:30 am (Canberra Time)
102/2013

Health depends on where your home is

Where you live can affect your likelihood of being a smoker or being overweight or obese, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today.

Louise Gates, Director of Health at the Australian Bureau of Statistics, said the results from the Australian Health Survey give us an important insight into smoking rates and rates of overweight and obesity across Australia.

"In 2011-12, those living in outer regional and remote Australia had higher rates of daily smoking (22 per cent) compared with those living in major cities of Australia (15 per cent).

"Also, people living in areas of most disadvantage were more likely to smoke daily compared with those living in areas of least disadvantage - the rate was nearly one in four compared with one in ten,

"While rates of daily smoking in remote areas of Australia have dropped over time, they are still significantly higher than the rates in major cities of Australia a decade ago," she said.

Ms Gates added that remoteness and socio-economic disadvantage also had an effect on obesity rates.

"Seven out of ten adults living in outer regional and remote Australia were overweight or obese, compared with six out of ten adults living in major cities of Australia.

"Women living in areas of most disadvantage were more likely to be overweight or obese (64 per cent) compared with women living in areas of least disadvantage (48 per cent).

"Interestingly, this pattern was not observed for men, with similar overweight or obese rates for men living in areas of most disadvantage compared with those living in areas of least disadvantage," Ms Gates said.

Results also revealed that seven out of ten people with measured high blood pressure did not self-report that they had hypertensive disease - indicating that most people with high blood pressure may not be aware they have this health risk factor.

Further information is available in Australian Health Survey: Updated Results, 2011-12 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.003).


Media note:
    • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
    • Overweight and obesity are classified according to Body Mass Index, calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in metres squared.

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