The definitions used in this survey are not necessarily identical to those used for similar items in other collections. Additional information about the items is contained in the Australian Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2011-13 (cat. no. 4363.0.55.001), including a more detailed Glossary.
A respondent aged 18 years or over.
Age standardisation is a way of allowing comparisons between two or more populations with different age structures, in order to remove age as a factor when examining relationships between variables. For example, the age structure of the population of Australia is changing over time. As the prevalence of a particular health condition (for example, arthritis) may be related to age, any increase in the proportion of people with that health condition over time may be due to real increases in prevalence or to changes in the age structure of the population over time or to both. Age standardising removes the effect of age in assessing change over time or between different populations.
Proportions in tables and commentary in this publication are not age-standardised.
|Australian Standard Classification of Education|
The Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED) is a national standard classification which includes all sectors of the Australian education system: that is, schools, vocational education and training, and higher education. ASCED comprises two classifications: Level of Education and Field of Education.
ASGC Remoteness Structure
The Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Remoteness Structure has 5 categories based on an aggregation of geographical areas which share common characteristics of remoteness, determined in the context of Australia as a whole. These categories are:
- Major Cities of Australia;
- Inner Regional Australia;
- Outer Regional Australia;
- Remote Australia; and,
- Very Remote Australia.
The five categories are generally aggregated in some way for use in output. The 2006 ASGC remoteness structure has been used in this publication.
The criteria for these categories are based on the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) developed by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) and the National Key Centre for Social Applications of GIS (GISCA). ARIA measures the remoteness of a point based on the physical road distance to the nearest Urban Centre in each of five size classes. For more information on how ARIA is defined see Information Paper: ABS Views on Remoteness, 2001 (cat. no. 1244.0) and Information Paper: Outcomes of ABS Views on Remoteness Consultation, Australia, Jun 2001 (cat. no. 1244.0.00.001). Also refer to Census Geography Paper 03/01 - ASGC Remoteness Classification - Purpose and Use, available from the ABS web site.
See High blood pressure, Diastolic blood pressure and Systolic blood pressure.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify underweight, normal weight, overweight and obesity. It is 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.
BODY MASS INDEX, Adults
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 the Australian Health Survey: Users' Guide (cat. no. 4363.0.55.001) chapter on Body Mass and Physical Measures and Appendix 4: Classification of BMI for children.
|Underweight||Less than 18.50|
25.00 — 29.99
|Obese||30.00 or more|
A person aged 0-17 years.
See long-term medical condition.
Country of birth
Country of birth refers to the country in which the respondent was born, not where their parents were born.
Current daily smoker
A current daily smoker is a respondent who reported at the time of interview that they regularly smoked one or more cigarettes, cigars or pipes per day. See also Smoker status.
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.
Diastolic blood pressure
Measures the pressure in the arteries as the heart relaxes before the next beat. It is the lower number of the blood pressure reading.
The estimates in this publication for whether a person has met the guidelines for adequate fruit and vegetable consumption are based on the following guidelines specified by the National Health and Medical Research Council:
See also Usual daily intake of fruit, Usual daily intake of vegetables and Inadequate fruit and/or vegetable intake.
A disability or restrictive long term health condition exists if a limitation, restriction, impairment, disease or disorder, has lasted, or is expected to last for six months or more, and restricts everyday activities.
It is classified by whether or not a person has a specific limitation or restriction. Specific limitation or restriction is further classified by whether the limitation or restriction is a limitation in core activities or a schooling/employment restriction only.
There are four levels of core activity limitation (profound, severe, moderate and mild) which are based on whether a person needs help, has difficulty, or uses aids or equipment with any of the core activities (self care, mobility or communication). A person's overall level of core activity limitation is determined by their highest level of limitation in these activities.
Persons aged 15 years and over who had a job or business, or who undertook work without pay in a family business for a minimum of one hour per week. Includes persons who were absent from a job or business. See also Unemployed and Not in the labour force.
Heart disease (Heart, stroke and vascular conditions)
A subset of reported long-term conditions comprising the following:
- angina, heart attack and other ischaemic heart diseases;
- stroke and other cerebrovascular diseases;
- heart failure;
- oedema; and,
- diseases of arteries, arterioles and capillaries.
Health risk factors
Specific lifestyle and related factors impacting on health, including:
- tobacco smoking;
- body mass;
- dietary behaviour; and
- blood pressure.
High blood pressure
A measured blood pressure reading for a person aged 18 years or over where their systolic blood pressure is greater than or equal to 140 mmHg (millimetres of mercury) and/or their diastolic blood pressure is greater than or equal to 90mmHg. Data on high blood pressure in this publication refer to measured blood pressure only, and do not take into account whether people who might otherwise have high blood pressure are managing their condition through the use of blood pressure medications.
A household is defined as one or more persons, at least one of whom is at least 18 years of age, usually resident in the same private dwelling.
Refers to the composition of the household to which the respondent belonged. In this publication households are categorised as persons living alone, couple only, couple with child(ren), and other households.
Also known as hypertension, hypertensive disease is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is elevated, requiring the heart to work harder than normal to circulate blood through the blood vessels. Hypertension is a major risk factor for strokes and myocardial infarction (heart attacks) as well as several other medical conditions.
Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage
This is one of four Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) compiled by ABS following each Census of Population and Housing. The indexes are compiled from various characteristics of persons resident in particular areas: the Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage (IRSD) summarises attributes such as low income, low educational attainment, high unemployment and jobs in relatively unskilled occupations.
A lower Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage quintile (e.g. the first quintile) indicates an area with relatively greater disadvantage and a lack of advantage in general. A higher Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage (e.g. the fifth quintile) indicates an area with a relative lack of disadvantage and greater advantage in general. The 2006 IRSD SEIFA was used in this publication. For further information about SEIFA see the Australian Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2011-13 (cat. no. 4363.0.55.001) Household, family and income unit level characteristics chapter.
Ischaemic heart disease
A disease of the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle. This includes angina, heart attack and other ischaemic heart diseases.
A subset of symptoms including: problems or complaints about the kidneys, renal pain and renal colic (kidney stones).
Long-term medical condition (or Long-term health condition)
A medical condition (illness, injury or disability) which has lasted at least six months, or which the respondent expects to last for six months or more. Three selected long-term conditions are included in this publication, namely heart and circulatory conditions, diabetes mellitus and kidney disease.
Level of highest non-school educational qualification
The level of the highest educational qualification obtained other than a school qualification; this may include non-school qualifications obtained while still at school.
Not in the labour force
Persons who are not employed or unemployed as defined, including persons who:
- are retired;
- no longer work;
- do not intend to work in the future;
- are permanently unable to work; or,
- have never worked and never intend to work.
See ASGC Remoteness Structure.
Self-assessed health status
A person's general assessment of their own health against a five point scale from excellent through to poor. Data was collected from respondents aged 15 years and over.
The extent to which a respondent was smoking at the time of interview, and refers to regular smoking of tobacco, including manufactured (packet) cigarettes, roll-your-own cigarettes, cigars and pipes, but excludes chewing tobacco and smoking of non-tobacco products. Categorised as:
- Current daily smoker - a respondent who reported at the time of interview that they regularly smoked one or more cigarettes, cigars or pipes per day;
- Current smoker - Other - a respondent who reported at the time of interview that they smoked cigarettes, cigars or pipes, less frequently than daily;
- Ex-smoker - a respondent who reported that they did not currently smoke, but had regularly smoked daily, or had smoked at least 100 cigarettes, or smoked pipes, cigars, etc at least 20 times in their lifetime; and
- Never smoked - a respondent who reported they had never regularly smoked daily, and had smoked less than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and had smoked pipes, cigars, etc less than 20 times.
Data was collected from respondents aged 15 years and over.
Systolic blood pressure
Measures the pressure in the arteries as the heart pumps blood during each beat. It is the higher number of the blood pressure reading.
Type of conditions
All reported long-term medical conditions were coded to a classification developed for use in the 2001 National Health Survey, which is based on the tenth revision of the International Classification of Diseases and Health Related Problems (ICD-10). Further information can be found in the Australian Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2011-13 (cat. no. 4363.0.55.001).
Persons aged 15 years and over who were not employed and actively looking for work in the four weeks prior to the survey, and were available to start work in the week prior to the survey.
Usual daily intake of fruit
Refers to the number of serves of fruit (excluding drinks and beverages) usually consumed each day, as reported by the respondent. A serve is approximately 150 grams of fresh fruit or 50 grams of dried fruit. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) 2003 guidelines recommend levels of daily fruit intake to ensure good nutrition and health. Fruit intake has been grouped in the table below to allow results to be reported against the 2003 NHMRC guidelines. See also Dietary Guidelines and Inadequate fruit and/or vegetable intake.
RECOMMENDED DAILY SERVES OF FRUIT, by age
Usual daily intake of vegetables
|18 years and over||2|
Refers to the number of serves of vegetables (excluding drinks and beverages) usually consumed each day, as reported by the respondent. A serve is approximately half a cup of cooked vegetables or one cup of salad vegetables - equivalent to approximately 75 grams. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) 2003 guidelines recommend levels of daily vegetable intake to ensure good nutrition and health. Vegetable intake has been grouped in the table below to allow results to be reported against the 2003 NHMRC guidelines. See also Dietary Guidelines and Inadequate fruit and/or vegetable intake.
RECOMMENDED DAILY SERVES OF VEGETABLES, by age
|18 years and over||5|
Waist circumference is associated with an increased risk of metabolic complications associated with obesity. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) approved the following guidelines for Caucasian men and women:
WAIST MEASUREMENT GUIDELINES, Adults
|Not at risk||Waist circumference less than 94 cm||Waist circumference less than 80 cm|
|Increased risk||Waist circumference more than or equal to 94 cm||Waist circumference more than or equal to 80 cm|
|Greatly increased risk||Waist circumference more than or equal to 102 cm||Waist circumference more than or equal to 88 cm|