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4727.0.55.001 - Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: First Results, Australia, 2012-13  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/11/2013  First Issue
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This document was added 03/27/2014.



MEDIA RELEASE
27 November 2013
Embargo: 11:30 am (Canberra Time)
208/2013

Survey reveals health challenges for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

First results from the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey were released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today. The survey provides a platform for a range of new research into health determinants and patterns, supporting critical assessment of progress in closing the gap in health outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people.

The survey focus is on long-term health conditions, health risk factors, selected social and emotional well-being indicators, health measurements and health-related actions, and includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in remote and non-remote areas.

The first results released today reveal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are smoking less than ever before.

ABS First Assistant Statistician, Dr Paul Jelfs said “The good news is the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people smoking every day has declined 8 percentage points over the past decade. This is around 40 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over smoking on a daily basis".

“The take up of smoking is declining, matching the trend in the non-Indigenous population. More than one-third (37 per cent) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults had never smoked, an improvement over the past 10 years (from 33 per cent).


“The proportion of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 to 17 years who had never smoked has increased from 61 per cent to 77 per cent, with an increase from 34 per cent to 43 per cent for those aged 18 to 24 years”, said Dr Jelfs.

While the smoking rate has declined in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, the smoking rate in the non-Indigenous population has also fallen. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are still 2.6 times as likely as non-Indigenous people to be current daily smokers.


Other results released today include a range of self-reported health assessments. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were more than three times as likely as non-Indigenous people to have diabetes or high sugar levels. The rates were between three and five times higher than the comparable rates for non-Indigenous people in all age groups from 25 years and over.

In self-assessing one's health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over were around half as likely as non-Indigenous people to report excellent or very good health and twice as likely to report fair or poor health.

The survey found that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults experienced higher levels of psychological distress. They were nearly three times as likely as non-Indigenous adults to have experienced high to very high psychological distress in the preceding four weeks.

This is the first release in a series of results to be released progressively from the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey. Further information is available in the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: First results 2012 -13 ( cat. no. 4727.0.55.001)

Media note: Please note, as at 27 March 2014, corrections have been made to some topics and tables. For details, refer to History of Changes.

When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source


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