4364.0.55.001 - National Health Survey: First Results, 2014-15  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/03/2016   
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KEY FINDINGS

This publication summarises the general health, long-term health conditions and health risk factors of Australians for each State and Territory from the 2014-15 National Health Survey.

General Health
  • In 2014-15, over half (56.2%) of Australians aged 15 years and over considered themselves to be in excellent or very good health with the highest rate in Western Australia (60.8%).
  • Rates of high or very high levels of psychological distress ranged from 7.8% in Northern Territory to 13.7% in South Australia and one in nine (11.7%) in Australia.

Long-term health conditions

SELECTED LONG-TERM HEALTH CONDITIONS EXPERIENCED IN AUSTRALIA IN 2014-15

Selected long-term health condition AustraliaRange

FromTo

Arthritis 3.5 million people (15.3%) 8.6% in Northern Territory23.4% in Tasmania
Asthma 2.5 million people (10.8%) 8.2% in Northern Territory 12.6% in Tasmania
Cancer 370,100 people (1.6%) 0.9% in Northern Territory 2.0% in Queensland
Diabetes 1.2 million people (5.1%) 4.3% in Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory 5.6% in New South Wales and South Australia
Hayfever 4.4 million people (19.4%) 11.9% in Northern Territory 25.9% in Australian Capital Territory
Heart disease 1.2 million people (5.2%) 2.8% in Northern Territory7.7% in Tasmania
High cholesterol1.6 million people (7.1%) 4.4% in Northern Territory 9.4% in Tasmania
Hypertension 2.6 million people (11.3%) 6.6% in Northern Territory 16.4% in Tasmania
Kidney disease 203,400 people (0.9%) 0.7% in Queensland1.5% in Tasmania
Long sightedness 6.6 million people (28.9%) 21.7% in Western Australia 33.1% in Tasmania
Mental and behavioural conditions 4.0 million people (17.5%) 14.6% in Western Australia 20.8% in Tasmania
Osteoporosis 801,800 people (3.5%) 1.3% in Northern Territory 4.1% in New South Wales
Short sightedness 5.9 million people (25.6%) 22.2% in Tasmania 31.5% in Australian Capital Territory

  • While the Tasmanian and Northern Territory rates may, in part, be explained by the age structure of their populations (e.g. the older Tasmanian and younger Northern Territory populations), the results were consistent even when differing age distributions were taken into account.
  • Tasmania had the highest rates of Arthritis, Asthma, Heart disease, Hypertension and Kidney disease.
  • The Northern Territory had the lowest rates of Arthritis, Asthma, Cancer, Hayfever , Heart disease, Hypertension and Osteoporosis.
    Graph Image for Selected long term conditions by states and territories

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



    Health risk factors

    Smoking
    • In 2014-15, over one in seven (14.5%) Australians aged 18 years and over were current daily smokers. The Northern Territory had the highest rate of current daily smokers (20.9%) compared with the lowest rate (12.4%) in the Australian Capital Territory.
    • Proportionally, more men than women were daily smokers (16.9% and 12.1%, respectively) except in the Australian Capital Territory where the proportion of male and female current daily smokers was the same (12.4%).
        • Current daily smokers men
          • Highest: Northern Territory (22.3%)
          • Lowest: Australian Capital Territory (12.4%)
        • Current daily smokers women
          • Highest: Northern Territory (18.1%)
          • Lowest: New South Wales (10.8%)

    Map: Persons aged 18 years and over - Proportion of Current daily smokers by State and Territory (NSW 14.2%, VIC 13.7%, QLD 16.19%, SA 13.1%, WA 14.3%, TAS 17.9%, NT 20.9%, and ACT 12.4%)



    Overweight and obesity
    • In 2014-15, 63.4% of Australians aged 18 years and over were overweight or obese.
    • Tasmania had the highest rate of persons aged 18 years and over who were overweight or obese (67.5%), compared with Western Australia (60.3%) who had the lowest.
    • In 2014-15 the State and Territory rates of persons who were aged 18 years and over who were overweight or obese were similar to 2011-12, except for Western Australia where the rate decreased in 2014-15 compared with 2011-12 (65.6%).

    PROPORTION OVERWEIGHT OR OBESE BY STATE AND TERRITORY (PERSONS AGED 18 YEARS AND OVER)

    State/TerritoryPerson (%)Men (%)Women (%)

    New South Wales63.271.955.2
    Victoria63.370.456.5
    Queensland63.670.756.6
    South Australia65.872.458.9
    Western Australia60.366.554.6
    Tasmania67.574.160.9
    Northern Territory64.372.956.3
    Australian Capital Territory63.571.555.9
    Australia63.470.856.3

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

    Alcohol consumption

    Lifetime risk
    • Just over one in six (17.4%) Australians aged 18 years and over consumed more than the recommended two standard drinks per day on average (exceeding the National Health and Medical Research Council lifetime risk guidelines 2009).2 Western Australia had the highest rate (20.8%), while Victoria (15.6%) and the Australian Capital Territory (15.7%) had the lowest.
    • Rates of those who exceeded the lifetime risk guidelines of alcohol consumption were generally higher for men than women.
        • Lifetime risk men
          • Highest: Western Australia (31.4%)
          • Lowest: Australian Capital Territory (23.4%) and Victoria (23.6%)
        • Lifetime risk women
          • All States and Territories were similar to the national rate (9.3%).

    Map: Persons aged 18 years and over - Proportion who exceeded the lifetime alcohol risk guidelines (2009) by State and Territory (NSW 17.6%, VIC 15.6%, QLD 18.0%, SA 16.8%, WA 20.8%, TAS 18.6%, NT 19.3% and ACT 15.7%)

    Single Occasion risk

    • In 2014-15, 44.0% of Australians aged 18 years and over consumed more than 4 standard drinks at least once in the past year (exceeding the National Health and Medical Research Council single occasion risk guidelines 2009).1
    • Northern Territory had the highest proportion of persons aged 18 years and over who exceeded the single occasion risk guidelines (47.8%) compared with New South Wales and Victoria who had the lowest (42.5%).
    • Rates varied considerably by age and sex with males generally more likely to exceed the single occasion risk guidelines of alcohol than females.
        • Single Occasion risk men
          • Highest: Tasmania (60.9%) and Northern Territory (60.4%)
          • Lowest: Victoria (55.1%)
        • Single Occasion risk women
          • Highest: Western Australia (35.1%) and Northern Territory (34.7%)
          • Lowest: New South Wales (28.8%)

    Blood pressure
    • Just under 1 in 4 (23.0%) Australians aged 18 years and over had measured high blood pressure (systolic or diastolic blood pressure equal to or greater than 140/90 mmHg).2
    • Rates were highest in Tasmania (28.4%) compared with the Northern Territory (19.7%) who had the lowest.

    Daily intake of fruit and vegetables
    • In 2014-15, 49.8% of Australians aged 18 years and over met the guidelines for recommended daily serves of fruit (2 or more serves), while 7.0% met the guidelines for recommended daily serves of vegetables (5-6 or more serves for men depending on age, and 5 or more for women). Only one in twenty (5.1%) Australians aged 18 years and over met both guidelines.3
    • Western Australia had the highest proportion of persons aged 18 years and over who met the guidelines for recommended daily serves of fruit (54.2%), while Tasmania and Northern Territory had the lowest (47.1% and 47.4% respectively).
    • Tasmania had the highest proportion of persons aged 18 years and over who met the guidelines for recommended daily serves of vegetables (11.6%), while the Australian Capital Territory had the lowest (5.0%).
    • Tasmania had the highest proportion of persons aged 18 years and over who met both guidelines (6.8%), while Australian Capital Territory had the lowest (3.8%).
        • Adequate fruit consumption men
          • Highest: Western Australia (49.3%)
          • Lowest: Tasmania (41.0%)
        • Adequate fruit consumption women
          • Highest: Western Australia (58.7%)
          • Lowest: Northern Territory (52.3%) and Australian Capital Territory (52.6%)
        • Adequate vegetable consumption men
          • Highest: Tasmania (8.6%)
          • Lowest: Northern Territory (2.5%)
        • Adequate vegetable consumption women
          • Highest: Tasmania (13.9%)
          • Lowest: Australian Capital Territory (7.7%)

    More detailed nutrition information was collected as part of the Australian Health Survey 2011-12. See Australian Health Survey: Nutrition – State and Territory results, 2011-12 (cat. No. 4364.0.55.009).

    Exercise
    • In 2014-15, 47.7% of Australians aged 18-64 years participated in sufficient physical activity in the last week (150 minutes of physical activity over five or more sessions per week including walking for fitness/transport, moderate and/or vigorous physical activity). Over one in three (37.4%) were insufficiently active (less than 150 minutes or less than 5 sessions in the last week) while 14.8% were inactive (no physical activity in the last week).
    • Rates varied by State and Territory with the highest proportion of persons aged 18-64 years who participated in sufficient physical activity in the ACT (55.5%), compared with the lowest in Tasmania (43.4%).
        • Sufficient physical activity men
          • Highest: Australian Capital Territory (61.9%)
          • Lowest: Tasmania (44.3%)
        • Sufficient physical activity women
          • Highest: Australian Capital Territory (49.6%)
          • Lowest: Tasmania (42.0%)

    Map: Persons aged 18 years and over - Proportion who met or exceeded the recommended guideline for sufficient physical activity by State and Territory (NSW 47.9%, VIC 49.4%, QLD 43.9%, SA 45.6%, WA 48.3%, TAS 43.4%, NT 48.3% and ACT 55.5%)



    ENDNOTES

    1 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), 2009. Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol, Canberra: NHMRC. <http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/ds10-alcohol.pdf>. For more information see Glossary.

    2 Heart Foundation, 2015, Blood pressure <http://heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart/know-your-risks/blood-pressure>;

    3 National Health and Medical Research Council (2013) Australian Dietary Guidelines. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council. <https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/sites/default/files/files/the_guidelines/n55_australian_dietary_guidelines.pdf > For more information see Glossary.