4125.0 - Gender Indicators, Australia, August 2016  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/08/2016   
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HEALTH

The Health section contains the following sub-topics:
  • Health Status (life expectancy, long-term health conditions, living with disability, psychological distress, mental health)
  • Deaths (death rates, rates by condition/cause of death, perinatal deaths)
  • Risk Factors (Consumption of alcohol, smoking, overweight and obesity, levels of exercise)
  • Services (Medicare services)

Detailed data for these sub-topics is available from the Downloads tab above (see Table 3).


HIGHLIGHTS

Health Status

Life expectancy
    In 2012-14, Australian life expectancy was 80.3 years for males and 84.4 years for females: that is, based on current mortality rates, a boy born in 2012-2014 could expect to live 80.3 years, while a girl could expect to live 84.4 years. The gap between male and female life expectancy rates continues to narrow (see Table 3.1 via the Downloads tab for more detail).
      As of 2012-14, the proportion of females surviving from birth to age 85 had reached almost 60%, compared with 45% of males (see Table 3.1).

    Long-term health conditions (morbidity prevalence)
      In 2014-15, after adjusting for age, females were slightly more likely to report a long-term health condition than males, continuing the long-term trend.

    Graph Image for Figure 1 - One or more reported long-term health conditions by sex, 2001 to 2014-15 (a)

    Footnote(s): (a) Current conditions which have lasted or are expected to last for six months or more.

    Source(s): Customised data, ABS National Health Survey: First Results, 2001 to 2014-15


      Mental and behavioural problems were the most commonly reported of the selected long-term health conditions for both males (16%) and females (19%), followed by arthritis (12% of males and 16% of females). Arthritis was the most prevalent long-term condition for people aged 65 years and over, at 41% of men and 60% of women in this age group (see Table 3.3 via the Downloads tab for more detail).

    Living with disability
      In 2015, after adjusting for the effects of age, proportions of males and females with disability were similar at 17.2% and 16.7% respectively, with those reporting profound or severe core activity limitation also close, at 5.2% of males and 5.6% of females (see Table 3.6).

      Over half of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over reported a disability in 2014-15 (50% of males and 51% of females, after adjusting for age), with around 9% of males and 10% of females reporting a profound or severe core activity limitation. (This data comes from a short version of the disability questions and may not be directly comparable with the data for all persons, above.)

    Mental health
      - Psychological distress

      In 2014-15, after adjusting for the effects of age, 14% of women and 10% of men aged 18 years and over experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress. Young women aged 18-24 years were most likely to report high levels of distress (20% compared with 11% of young men). See Figure 3 below, and Table 3.8 via the Downloads tab for more detail.

      Graph Image for Figure 2 - High and very high level of psychological distress by age and sex, 2001 to 2014-15 (a)

      Footnote(s): (a) Distress levels calculated using the Kessler 10 scale of psychological distress (K10).

      Source(s): Customised data, ABS National Health Survey, 2001 to 2014-15

      Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women aged 18 years and over were nearly three times as likely to report high or very high levels of psychological distress as non-Indigenous Australians, at just over 26% and 37% respectively for men and women after adjusting for age (see Table 3.9).
      - Mental health conditions

      In 2014-15, 19% of females and 16% of males reported having a long-term mental and behavioural problem. Mood (affective) disorders and anxiety related problems were the most commonly reported for both males and females across all age groups (see Table 3.12). A higher proportion of females 15 years and over reported anxiety related problems, particularly those aged 15-24 years (19% compared with 8% of males in this age group). Across all age groups, more women than men reported mood (affective) disorders, with the highest rate for women aged 45-54 years (16% compared with 11% of men in this age group).

      Graph Image for Figure 3 - Long-term mental and behavioural conditions by selected condition and sex, 2014-15 (a)

      Footnote(s): (a) Data volunteered from people that have been told by a doctor or nurse they have a mental health condition, and the condition has lasted or is expected to last for six months or more.

      Source(s): Customised data, ABS National Health Survey, 2014-15



    Deaths

    Death rates
      The standardised death rate for males and females in 2014 was 6.4 and 4.6 deaths per 1,000 people, respectively. This rate has been generally declining for both males and females over the past 15 years, continuing a long established trend.

      Males have higher age-specific death rates than females in all age groups from 15-19 years, ranging from one and a half times to more than double those of females (see Table 3.13 for details).

    Cause of death
      In 2014, three quarters (75%) of people who died from intentional self-harm were male. Women were nearly twice as likely than men to die from dementia and Alzheimer's disease (66% compared with 34%), and also from cerebrovascular diseases (60% compared with 40%). See Tables 3.14 to 3.22 via the Downloads tab for more detail.

    Perinatal deaths
      In 2014, the overall perinatal death rate (per 1,000 births for the calendar year) was 8.1 for males, and 7.9 for females. This is the lowest perinatal death rate for males since 2004 (see Table 3.23).

      Average rates for perinatal deaths where at least one parent was of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin were 10.2 and 8.8 respectively for males and females over the period 2010 to 2014, compared with 8.1 and 7.5 respectively for males and females where neither parent identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. See Table 3.24 for more detail.


    Risk Factors

    Alcohol consumption
      Fewer Australian men and women overall are consuming alcohol in quantities which present a lifetime risk (according to the 2009 NHMRC guidelines). Levels of risky consumption have been decreasing since 2004-05, with the largest decrease being for men between 2011-12 and 2014-15 (a 4.5 percentage point decrease). Overall, after adjusting for the effects of age, Australian men aged 18 years and over were more than twice as likely to exceed the guideline as women the same age (24.4% compared with 8.8%). See Figure 4 below, and Table 3.25 via the Downloads tab for more detail.

      Graph Image for Figure 4 - Persons who exceeded the lifetime risk alcohol guideline, by sex, 2001 to 2014-15 (a)(b)

      Footnote(s): (a) More than two standard drinks per day on average. (b) Persons aged 18 years and over. Proportions have been age standardised to the 2001 Australian population to account for differences in the age structure of the population over time.

      Source(s): ABS National Health Survey: First Results, 2014-15 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.001)



      Proportions of young men (aged 18-24) exceeding the lifetime risk guideline dropped from 31.6% in 2001 to 18.9% in 2014-15. Proportions of women aged 65 years and over exceeding the threshold, however, have been rising - from 5.9% in 2001 to 9.9% in 2014-15 (see Table 3.25).

    Smoking
      Fewer Australian men and women are smoking, continuing the long term trend. Between 2001 and 2014-15, women aged 25-34 years had the largest decrease for women (from 28.4% to 14.2%), while men aged 18-24 years had the largest decrease for men, dropping from 35.3% in 2001 to 16.2% in 2014-15 (see Table 3.27 via the Downloads tab for more detail).

    Graph Image for Figure 5 - Current smokers, by sex, 2001 to 2014-15 (a)(b)

    Footnote(s): (a) Includes Current smoker daily, Current smoker weekly (at least once a week but not daily) and Current smoker less than weekly. (b) Persons aged 18 years and over. Proportions have been age standardised to the 2001 Australian population to account for differences in the age structure of the population over time.

    Source(s): ABS National Health Survey: First Results, 2014-15 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.001)


    Overweight/obesity
      Between 1995 and 2014-15, after adjusting for age, proportions of men who are obese have increased from 18.9% to 27.9%, while those of women have increased from 19.1% to 27.0%. A further 42.5% of men and 28.4% of women were overweight in 2014-15 (see Table 3.29).

    Graph Image for Figure 6 - Measured overweight and obesity by sex, 18 years and over, 1995 to 2014-15 (a)(b)(c)

    Footnote(s): (a) Measured Body Mass Index is based on measured height and weight. (b) In 2014-15, 26.8% of respondents aged 18 years and over did not have their height, weight or both measured. For these respondents, imputation was used to obtain height, weight and BMI scores. (c) Proportions have been age standardised to the 2001 Australian population.

    Source(s): Customised data, ABS National Health Survey, 2014-15


      Men aged 65-74 years had the largest increase in rates of obesity between 1995 and 2014-15 (from 21.2% to 38.2%), while women aged 35-44 years had the largest increase (from 16.7% in 1995 to 30.7% in 2014-15). See Table 3.29 for more detail.

    Level of exercise
      Levels of exercise differ for males and females, with females 15 years and over more likely to be sedentary or engage in low levels of exercise than males the same age. In 2014-15, after adjusting for the effects of age, 68.7% of females and 61.2% of males were sedentary or engaged in low levels of exercise. Proportions have dropped since 2007-08, however, from 75.7% of females and 68.8% of males (see Table 3.32 via the Downloads tab for more detail).


    Medicare Services
      The average number of Medicare services processed per year for both males and females has steadily increased between 2000-01 and 2014-15 (from an average of 9 and 13 services per year respectively in 2000-01, to 13 and 17.8 respectively in 2014-15). Overall, the number of Medicare services processed is higher for females than males. Since 2000-01, females have claimed an average of 15 services annually, compared with 11 for males (see Table 3.35).

      However, the average number of Medicare services processed for men aged 65 years and over has consistently exceeded that of women the same age: between 2000-01 and 2014-15, men aged 65 years and over have accessed an annual average of 33 services, compared with 28 for women aged 65 years and over (see Table 3.35).