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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 03/26/2014.



KEY FINDINGS

General health
  • In 2012–13, around two in five (39.2%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over considered themselves to be in very good or excellent health, while 7.2% rated their health as poor.
  • Based on age standardised proportions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over were around half as likely as non-Indigenous people to have reported excellent or very good health (rate ratio of 0.6).

Long-term health conditions


Asthma
  • In 2012–13, one in six (17.5%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had asthma.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in non-remote areas were twice as likely as those in remote areas to have asthma (19.6% compared with 9.9%).
  • Based on age standardised proportions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were twice as likely as non-Indigenous people to have asthma (rate ratio of 1.9) (ENDNOTE 1).

Ear diseases and hearing loss
  • In 2012–13, around one in eight (12.3%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported diseases of the ear and/or hearing problems.
  • Based on age standardised proportions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were more likely than non-Indigenous people to have diseases of the ear and/or hearing problems (rate ratio of 1.3) (ENDNOTE 1).

Heart and circulatory diseases
  • In 2012–13, around one in eight (12.0%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had heart disease.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rates for heart disease were significantly higher than the comparable rates for non-Indigenous people in all age groups from 15–54 years.
  • Based on age standardised proportions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were more likely than non-Indigenous people to have heart or circulatory diseases (rate ratio of 1.2) (ENDNOTE 1).

Diabetes/high sugar levels
  • In 2012–13, around one in twelve (8.2%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had diabetes mellitus and/or high sugar levels in their blood or urine.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rates for diabetes/high sugar levels were between three and five times as high as the comparable rates for non-Indigenous people in all age groups from 25 years and over.
  • Based on age standardised proportions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were three times as likely as non-Indigenous people to have diabetes/high sugar levels (rate ratio of 3.3) (ENDNOTE 1).

Health risk factors


Tobacco smoking
  • ln 2012–13, two in five (41.0%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over smoked on a daily basis.
  • Rates of daily smoking for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have come down from 48.6% in 2002 and 44.6% in 2008.
  • In 2012–13, current daily smoking was still more prevalent among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than non-Indigenous people in every age group.
  • Based on age standardised proportions, the gap between the daily smoking rate in the adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population and non-Indigenous population was 27 percentage points in 2001 and was 25 percentage points in 2012–13 (ENDNOTE 1).

Alcohol consumption
  • In 2012–13, around one in six (18.0%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over had consumed more than two standard drinks per day on average, exceeding the lifetime risk guidelines.
  • Based on age standardised proportions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over and non-Indigenous people were exceeding the lifetime risk guidelines at similar rates (rate ratio of 1.0).
  • In 2012–13, just over half (53.6%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over had consumed more than four standard drinks on a single occasion in the past year, exceeding the threshold for single occasion risk.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women aged 35 years and over were significantly more likely than non-Indigenous women in this age group to have exceeded the threshold for single occasion risk
  • Based on age standardised proportions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over were more likely than non-Indigenous people to have exceeded the single occasion risk guidelines (rate ratio of 1.1)(ENDNOTE 1).
Illicit substance use
  • In 2012–13, just over one in five (22.3%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over said that they had used an illicit substance in the previous year.
  • Marijuana was the most commonly reported illicit drug, having been used by one in five (18.7%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over in the previous year.

Overweight and obesity
  • In 2012–13, almost one-third (30.4%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 2–14 years were overweight or obese according to their BMI.
  • In 2012–13, two-thirds (65.6%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over were overweight or obese (28.6% and 37.0% respectively), according to their BMI.
  • Obesity rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females and males were significantly higher than the comparable rates for non-Indigenous people in almost every age group.

Exercise levels - non-remote areas only
  • In 2012–13, three in five (61.9%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 18 years and over were physically inactive and one in ten (10.3%) had exercised at high intensity.
  • Based on age standardised proportions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults in non-remote areas were more likely than non-Indigenous people to have been sedentary or exercising at low intensity (rate ratio of 1.1) and were only half as likely to have been exercising at high intensity (rate ratio of 0.6) (ENDNOTE 1).
  • In 2012–13, just under half (45.6%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults in non-remote areas had met the National Physical Activity (NPA) Guidelines target of 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days (or a total of 150 minutes per week).
  • Based on age standardised proportions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults in non-remote areas were less likely than non-Indigenous people to have met the NPA targets of 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week or 150 minutes and 5 sessions per week (rate ratio of 0.8 for both) (ENDNOTE 1).

Physical measurements


Waist circumference
  • In 2012–13, 60.4% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men aged 18 years and over had a waist circumference that put them at an increased risk of developing chronic diseases, while 81.4% of women had an increased level of risk.
  • On average, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men aged 18 years and over had a waist measurement of 99.7 cm, while women had a waist measurement of 97.4 cm.

Blood pressure
  • In 2012–13, one in five (20.3%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander adults had measured high blood pressure (systolic or diastolic blood pressure equal to or greater than 140/90 mmHg).
  • Based on age standardised proportions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults were more likely than non-Indigenous people to have high blood pressure (rate ratio of 1.2) (ENDNOTE 1).
Health-related actions

Consultations with health professionals

In 2012–13, in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population
  • just over one in five (21.9%) people had consulted a GP or specialist in the last two weeks
  • one in five (18.5%) people had visited a health professional (other than a doctor) in the last two weeks
  • one in twenty (4.8%) people aged two years and over had visited a dental professional in the last two weeks.
  • Between 2001 and 2012–13, use of health professionals (other than GP/specialist) increased significantly from 16.3% to 18.5%.
  • Between 2001 and 2012–13, consultation rates for GP/specialist and dental professionals have remained largely unchanged.

Hospital visits and admissions

In 2012–13, in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population
  • around one in sixteen (6.0%) people had visited the casualty/outpatients/day clinic in the last two weeks
  • around one in six (18.0%) people had been admitted to a hospital in the previous year.

ENDNOTE

1. Difference between the age standardised proportion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people is statistically significant.

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