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These guidelines have since been superseded by 'lifetime' risk guidelines as published in 2009 by the NHMRC in Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol. The 2009 guidelines align the definition of what constitutes 'risky' alcohol consumption for males and females. That is, the consumption of more than two standard drinks per day by either a male or female, presents a risk over that individual's 'lifetime'.
It should be noted that risk level as defined by the National Health Medical Research Council is based on regular consumption levels of alcohol, whereas estimates of risk from the National Health Survey (cat. no. 4364.0) or Australian Health Survey (cat. no. 4364.0.55.001) do not take into account whether consumption in the reference week was more, less or the same as usual.
The level of long-term risk is associated with regular daily patterns of drinking. Drinking status information was also collected in the Australian Health Survey (cat no. 4364.0.55.001) for those who did not consume any alcohol in the seven days prior to interview. The categories were:
Disorders that involve feelings of tension, distress or nervousness. In the National Health Survey (cat. no. 4364.0), the following anxiety disorders were collected: Panic Disorder, Social Phobia, Agoraphobia, Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Arthritis is characterised by an inflammation of the joints often resulting in pain, stiffness, disability and deformity.
A chronic disease marked by episodes of wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath associated with wide-spread narrowing of the airways within the lungs and obstruction of airflow. In the Australian Health Survey (cat no. 4364.0.55.001), to be current, symptoms of asthma or treatment for asthma must have occurred in the last 12 months prior to the survey.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Calculated from height and weight information, using the formula weight (kg) divided by the square of height (m). To produce a measure of the prevalence of underweight, normal weight, overweight or obesity in adults, BMI values are grouped according to the table below which allows categories to be reported against both the World Health Organization (WHO) and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines.
Separate BMI classifications were produced for children. BMI scores were created in the same manner described above but also took into account the age and sex of the child. There are different cut-offs for BMI categories (underweight/ normal combined, overweight or obese) for male and female children. These categories differ to the categories used in the adult BMI classification and follow the scale provided in Cole TJ, Bellizzi MC, Flegal KM and Dietz WH, Establishing a standard definition for child overweight and obesity worldwide: international survey, BMJ 2000; 320. For a detailed list of the cut-offs used to calculate BMI for children see Australian Health Survey, Users' Guide, 2011-13 (cat no. 4363.0.55.001).
Burden of disease
See Disability Adjusted Life Year (DALY).
Causes of death
The medical certificate of cause of death records all those diseases, morbid conditions or injuries which either resulted in or contributed to death, and the circumstances of the accident or violence that produced any such injuries. Underlying causes of death are classified to the International Classification of Diseases 9th and 10th Revision.
Core activities are communication, mobility and self-care.
Crude death rate
The crude death rate is the number of deaths registered during the reference year per 100,000 estimated resident population at 30 June.
A respondent who reported at the time of interview that they smoked cigarettes, cigars or pipes, either daily or less frequently.
Death is the permanent disappearance of all evidence of life after birth has taken place. The definition excludes all deaths prior to live birth. For the purposes of the Deaths (cat. no. 3302.0) and Causes of Death (cat. no. 3303.0) collections of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), a death refers to any death that occurs in, or en route to Australia and is registered with a state or territory Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
A chronic condition in which blood glucose levels become too high due to the body producing little or no insulin, or not using insulin properly.
Disability is an umbrella term for impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions. Disability (as collected) is the presence of a limitation, restriction or impairment due to a physical, emotional or nervous condition which had lasted or was likely to last six months or more.
Disability Adjusted Life Year (DALY)
The DALY is a measure that combines information about the years of healthy life lost due to either premature mortality (relative to a standard life expectancy) or to years lived with a disability (here disability means any departure from full health, and includes conditions that range from the common cold to quadriplegia). It is an incidence-based measure.
The burden of disease can be quantified by DALYs, for example, one DALY represents one lost year of healthy life due to disability or premature death. The more DALYs, the greater the burden.
Drug induced deaths
Any death directly caused by an acute episode of poisoning or toxicity to drugs, including deaths from accidental overdoses, suicide and assault, and any death from an acute condition caused by habitual drug use. The term 'drug' refers to substances classified as drugs that may be used for medicinal or therapeutic purposes and those that produce a psychoactive effect excluding alcohol, tobacco and volatile solvents (e.g. petrol).
Estimated resident population (ERP)
The official measure of the population of Australia is based on the concept of residence. It refers to all people, regardless of nationality or citizenship, who usually live in Australia, with the exception of foreign diplomatic personnel and their families. It includes usual residents who are overseas for less than 12 months. It excludes overseas visitors who are in Australia for less than 12 months.
External causes of death
Deaths due to causes external to the body (for example suicide, transport accidents, falls, poisoning etc).
Heart, stroke and vascular conditions (Heart disease)
Heart, stroke and vascular disease refers to persons who reported having been told by a doctor or nurse that they had any of a range of circulatory conditions comprising:
Refers to the tenth revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). The purpose of the ICD is to permit the systematic recording, analysis, interpretation and comparison of mortality and morbidity data collected in different countries or areas and at different times. The ICD, which is endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), is primarily designed for the classification of diseases and injuries with a formal diagnosis.
The classification of long-term conditions most commonly used in output from the Australian Health Survey (cat. no. 4364.0.55.001) and National Health Surveys (cat. no. 4364.0) were developed based on ICD-10.
The number of new cases of a particular characteristic, such as cancer, which occur within a certain period. This differs from prevalence, which refers to the number of cases of a particular characteristic that are present in a population at one point in time.
Refers to people who identify or are identified as being of Aboriginal and/ or Torres Strait Islander origin. See also Aboriginal and Torres Islander people.
Ischaemic heart disease
A disease of the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle.
See Psychological distress.
Leading causes of death
Leading causes of death are based on the total number of deaths attributed to specific causes. For further information on leading causes of death, see Causes of Death, Australia (cat. no. 3303.0) Explanatory Notes 34-35 and Glossary.
Level of exercise
Level of exercise is based on frequency, intensity (i.e. walking, moderate exercise and vigorous exercise) and duration of exercise (for fitness, recreation or sport). From these components, an exercise score was derived using factors to represent the intensity of the exercise:
Scores were grouped into the following four categories:
Inadequate exercise levels are sedentary and low exercise levels. Sedentary refers to sitting in one place for extended periods of time.
Until 2007-08, the National Health Survey (cat. no. 4364.0) collected information on exercise engaged in during the two weeks prior to interview. The 2011-12 Australian Health Survey (cat. no. 4364.0.55.001) replaced the National Health Survey (cat. no. 4364.0), and collected information on the level of exercise undertaken during one week prior to interview.
Life expectancy refers to the average number of additional years a person of a given age and sex might expect to live if the age-specific death rates of the given period continued throughout his/ her lifetime.
Long-term health condition
A medical condition (illness, injury or disability) that has lasted at least six months, or which the respondent expects to last for six months or more. Some reported conditions were assumed to be long-term, including arthritis, cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, rheumatic heart disease, heart attack, angina, heart failure and stroke.
Medicare is Australia’s universal health insurance scheme. Services include access to free treatment as a public (Medicare) patient in a public hospital, and free or subsidised treatment by medical practitioners including general practitioners, specialists, and participating optometrists or dentists (specified services only).
Mental and behavioural conditions
Includes organic mental problems, alcohol and drug problems, mood (affective) disorders such as depression, anxiety related problems and other mental and behavioural problems.
Mental health disorder
A mental health disorder (or mental illness) is a clinically recognisable set of symptoms or behaviours associated with distress and with interference with personal functions. Most diagnoses require criteria relating to severity and duration to be met.
Mood (affective) disorders
Disorders that involve mood disturbance. Examples include Bipolar Affective Disorder, Depressive episodes and Dysthymia.
Morbidity refers to ill health in an individual and to levels of ill health in a population or group.
A neoplasm is a new growth of abnormal tissue (a tumour). Tumours can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancer). Cancer refers to several diseases and can affect most types of cells in various parts of the body.
Refers to people who don't identify themselves, or were not identified by another household member, as being of Aboriginal and/ or Torres Strait Islander origin.
Overweight or obesity
Overweight is defined by a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than or equal to 25 and less than 30, while obesity is defined by a BMI greater than or equal to 30. BMI is body weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in metres. Calculations may be based on measured or self-reported height and weight, and exclude persons for whom height and/ or weight are unknown.
A death that is either a fetal death (i.e. a death prior to the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother as a product of conception of at least 20 completed weeks of gestation or with a birth weight of at least 400 grams), or a neonatal death (i.e. death of a live born baby within 28 completed days from birth).
Profound or severe core activity limitation
A person with a profound or severe core activity restriction is: unable to do, or needs help with, a core activity task (communication, mobility or self-care); or has difficulty understanding or being understood by family or friends; or can communicate more easily using sign language or other non-spoken forms of communication.
Derived from the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale-10 items (K10). This is a scale of non-specific psychological distress based on 10 questions about negative emotional states in the four weeks prior to interview. The K10 is scored from 10 to 50, with higher scores indicating a higher level of distress and lower scores indicating a lower level of distress. For the Australian Health Survey (cat. no. 4364.0), scores are grouped as follows:
Data are only collected from respondents aged 18 years and over.
See Level of exercise.
Self-assessed body mass
Respondents reported assessment of themselves as being of acceptable weight, underweight or overweight.
The extent to which a person aged 15 years and over was smoking at the time of interview, referring to regular smoking of tobacco, including manufactured (packet) cigarettes, roll-your-own cigarettes, cigars and pipes, but excluding chewing tobacco and smoking of non-tobacco products. Categorised as:
Sport and physical recreation
Respondents were not advised what activities they should include as sport or physical recreation. However, activities such as gardening, housework, manual labouring and other forms of occupational physical activity were excluded.
Standardised death rate (SDR)
To understand how the number of deaths by particular causes differ between males and females, and how they change over time, standardised death rates (SDRs) are used, as they enable the comparison of mortality levels between populations with different age structures. SDRs enable the comparison between populations with different age structures by relating them to a standard population. The ABS standard populations relate to the years ending in 1 (e.g. 2001). The current standard population is all persons in the Australian population at 30 June 2001. SDRs are expressed per 1,000 or 100,000 persons.
There are two methods of calculating standardised death rates:
SDRs in the Health domain have been calculated using the direct method.
Substance use disorder
Substance use disorders include harmful use and/or dependence on drugs and/or alcohol.
Survival to 85 years
The probability of survival to 85 years represents the proportion of survivors from birth to 85 years in a life table. Life tables are based on three years ending in the reference year of the table.
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