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4102.0 - Australian Social Trends, 2005  
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Contents >> Health >> Data sources and definitions

Data sources and definitions

HEALTH: DATA SOURCES

Data source
Indicators using this source
National indicators
State indicators

ABS 1995 National Health Survey; ABS 2001 National Health Survey.
44-47, 52-55
-
ABS 1995 National Nutrition Survey; ABS 2001 National Health Survey.
48-51
-
ABS 1998 and 2003 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers.
5-6
-
ABS 1996 and 2001 Census of Population and Housing and Australian Demographic Statistics, September Quarter 1996 and 2001 (ABS cat. no. 3101.0).
59
62
ABS 2001 National Health Survey.
-
13-19, 47-58
ABS Causes of Death Collection 1994-2003.
19-40
22-43
Australian Childhood Immunisation Register <http://www.hic.gov.au/providers/ health_statistics/statistical_reporting/acir.htm>.
41-43
44-46
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), Australian Hospital Statistics, (AIHW cat. no. HSE-32).
56-58
59-61
AIHW, Health Expenditure Australia, (AIHW cat. no. HWE-24).
66-67
-
AIHW, Residential Aged Care in Australia: A Statistical Overview, (AIHW cat. no. AGE- 38).
60
63
Causes of Deaths, Australia, 1999, 2003 (ABS cat. no. 3303.0).
16
12
Deaths, Australia, 1999, 2003 (ABS cat. no. 3302.0).
1-4, 7-15
1-11
Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2003 (ABS cat. no. 4430.0).
17-18
20-21
Department of Health and Ageing, 2005<http://www.health.gov.au/internet/WCMS/publishing.nst/content/med.stat _sep04_tables _c/$file/tablesclb.pdf> last accessed 2/2/2005.
61-64
64-67
Private Health Insurance Administration Council Annual Report.
65
68



HEALTH: DEFINITIONS


Arthritis (prevalence)


based on people reporting arthritis as a long-term condition (lasting or expecting to last six months or more), including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, other arthritis and arthritis type unknown.
Reference: National Health Survey: Summary of Results, 2001 (ABS cat. no. 4364.0).

Asthma (prevalence)


based on people reporting having asthma. Asthma was assumed to be a long-term condition (lasting or expecting to last six months or more).
Reference: National Health Survey: Summary of Results, 2001 (ABS cat. no. 4364.0).

Average length of stay in hospital


the total number of occupied bed days in both public and private hospitals divided by the total number of separations.
Reference: Australian Hospital Statistics, 2000-01,Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

Average Medicare services processed


average number of services processed per Australian resident per year.
Reference: Health Insurance Commission, Financial Statements and Statistical Tables, 2001-02.

Breast cancer deaths
deaths where malignant neoplasm of the breast is identified as the underlying cause (ICD-9 codes 174-175 up to 1996, ICD-10 code C50 from 1997 and onwards). Reference: Causes of Death, Australia (ABS cat. no. 3303.0).

Cancer (prevalence)


based on people reporting a malignant neoplasm (cancer). Cancer was assumed to be a long-term condition (lasting or expecting to last six months or more). Reference: National Health Survey: Summary of Results, 2001 (ABS cat. no. 4364.0).

Cancer deaths

deaths where malignant neoplasms are identified as the underlying cause (ICD-9 codes 140-208 up to 1996, ICD-10 codes C00-C97 from 1997 and onwards). Reference: Causes of Death, Australia (ABS cat. no. 3303.0).

Causes of death

underlying causes of death are classified to the International Classification of Diseases 9th and 10th Revision (ICD-9 up to and including 1996, and ICD-10 for 1997 and onwards).
Reference: Causes of Death, Australia (ABS cat. no. 3303.0).

Current smokers

persons aged 18 years and over who reported being current smokers. Smoking included manufactured (packet) cigarettes, roll-your-own cigarettes, cigars or pipes per day. Smoking excludes chewing tobacco and smoking of non-tobacco products.
Reference: National Health Survey: Summary of Results, 2001 (ABS cat. no. 4364.0).

Deaths

based on the year in which the death was registered. Death is the permanent disappearance of all evidence of life after birth has taken place. For the purposes of the Deaths and Causes of Death collections conducted by the ABS, a death refers to any death which occurs in, or en route to Australia and is registered with a state or territory Registry of Births, Deaths or Marriages.
Reference: Deaths, Australia (ABS cat. no. 3302.0).

Diabetes (prevalence)

based on people reporting diabetes as a long-term condition (lasting or expecting to last six months or more). Diabetes Mellitus Type I and II were assumed to be long-term conditions.
Reference: National Health Survey: Summary of Results, 2001 (ABS cat. no. 4364.0).

Diabetes mellitus deaths

deaths where diabetes mellitus was identified as the underlying cause (ICD-9 code 250 up to 1996; ICD-10 codes E10-E14 for 1997 and onwards).
Reference:Causes of Death, Australia (ABS cat. no. 3303.0).

Disability

is an umbrella term for impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions. Disability (as collected) is the presence of a limitation, restriction or impairment due to a physical, emotional or nervous condition which had lasted or was likely to last six months or more.
Reference: International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health 2001, World Health Organisation and Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia, 2003: Summary of Findings (ABS cat. no. 4430.0).

Disability-free life expectancy

the average number of years at birth a person might expect to live free of disability.
Reference: Australian Health Trends, 2000, AIHW.

Doctors per 100,000 population

the number of practising general and specialist medical practitioners per 100,000 estimated resident population on Census night of that year.
Reference: 2001 Census of Population and Housing, (ABS cat. no. 2008.0).

Drug induced deaths

any death directly caused by an acute episode of poisoning or toxicity to drugs, including deaths from accidental overdoses, suicide and assault, and any death from an acute condition caused by habitual drug use. The term 'drug' refers to substances classified as drugs that may be used for medicinal or therapeutic purposes and those that produce a psychoactive effect excluding alcohol, tobacco and volatile solvents (e.g. petrol).
Reference: Information paper: Drug-Induced Deaths - A Guide to ABS Causes of Death Data (ABS cat. no. 4809.0.55.001).

Fetal death

the delivery of a child weighing at least 400 grams at delivery (or, when birthweight is unavailable, of at least 20 weeks gestation) which did not, at any time after delivery, breathe or show any other evidence of life such as a heartbeat.
Reference: Causes of Death, Australia (ABS cat. no. 3303.0).

Fully immunised children

children recorded as having received all the required vaccinations scheduled for their age, or who are following a prescribed catch-up schedule, as a proportion of all children on the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register. The required vaccinations are based on the Australian Standard Vaccination Schedule funded vaccines recommended under the National Immunisation Program.
Reference: Australian Childhood Immunisation Register.

Health expenditure

expenditure on health goods and services, health-related services and health-related investment. Health goods expenditure includes expenditure on pharmaceuticals, aids and appliances; health services expenditure includes expenditure on clinical interventions, health-related services expenditure includes expenditure on public health, research and administration, and health-related investment includes expenditure on capital formation. Health expenditure does not include: expenditure that may have a health related outcome but which is undertaken outside the health sector, (such as expenditure on building safe transport systems or the education of health professionals); expenditure on personal activities not directly related to maintaining or improving personal health; and expenditure that does not have health as the main area of expected national benefit.
Reference: Health and Welfare Expenditure Series, Number 17: Health Expenditure Australia 2001-2002, AIHW.

Hospital beds (per 1,000 population)

the total number of beds in all hospitals providing acute care services per 1,000 population averaged over each month of the financial year. Hospitals providing acute care services are those in which the treatment typically require short durations of stay.
Reference: Australian Hospital Statistics, 2000-01, AIHW.

Hospital separations (per 1,000 population)

the total number of separations in all hospitals (public and private) providing acute care services per 1,000 estimated resident population at 31 December of the reference year. A separation is an episode of care which can be a total hospital stay (from admission to discharge, transfer or death) or a portion of a hospital stay ending in a change of status (for example from acute care to rehabilitation). The inclusion of status changes has been progressively introduced since 1995-96. Hospitals providing acute care services are those in which the treatments typically require short durations of stay.
Reference: Australian Hospital Statistics, 2001-2002, AIHW.

Hypertension (prevalence)

based on people reporting hypertension (high blood pressure) as a long-term condition (lasting or expecting to last six months or more). People are considered hypertensive if they are on tablets for high blood pressure and/or their systolic blood pressure is 160 mmHg or greater and/or their diastolic blood pressure is 95 mmHg or greater.
Reference: National Health Survey: Summary of Results, 2001 (ABS cat. no. 4364.0).

Infant mortality rate

the number of deaths of children under one year of age in one calendar year per 1,000 live births in the same calendar year.
Reference:
Deaths, Australia (ABS cat. no. 3302.0).

Injury (prevalence)

based on people reporting injury as a long-term condition (lasting or expecting to last six months or more), including fractures, dislocations, sprains, wounds, bruising, crushing, burns, poisoning and surgical complications.
Reference: National Health Survey: Summary of Results, 2001 (ABS cat. no. 4364.0).

Ischaemic and other heart disease (prevalence)

based on people reporting ischaemic or other heart disease as a long-term condition (lasting or expecting to last six months or more), including heart attack, angina and other heart disease. Heart attack and rheumatic heart disease were assumed to be long-term conditions.
Reference: National Health Survey: Summary of Results, 2001 (ABS cat. no. 4364.0).

Ischaemic heart disease deaths

deaths where coronary heart diseases, including heart attack (acute myocardial infarction, coronary occlusion) and angina (angina pectoris), are identified as the underlying cause (ICD-9 codes 410-414 up to 1996; ICD-10 codes I20-I25 for 1997 and onwards).
Reference: Causes of Death, Australia (ABS cat. no. 3303.0).

Life expectancy

refers to the average number of additional years a person of a given age and sex might expect to live if the age specific death rate of the given period continues throughout his / her life time.
Reference: Deaths, Australia (ABS cat. no. 3302.0).

Live birth

the delivery of a child weighing at least 400 grams at delivery (or, when birthweight is unavailable, of at least 20 weeks gestation) who after being born, breathed or showed any other evidence of life such as a heartbeat.
Reference: Causes of Death, Australia (ABS cat. no. 3303.0).

Low usual intake of fruit

includes persons who reported usually eating one serve or less of fruit (excluding drinks and beverages) each day and persons who do not eat fruit. Fruit includes fresh, dried, frozen and tinned. A serve of fruit is approximately 150 grams of fresh fruit or 50 grams of dried fruit.
Reference: National Health Survey: Summary of Results, 2001 (ABS cat. no. 4364.0).

Lung cancer deaths

deaths where malignant neoplasm of the trachea, bronchus and lung are identified as the underlying cause (ICD-9 code 162 up to 1996; ICD-10 codes C33-C34 for 1997 and onwards).
Reference: Causes of Death, Australia (ABS cat. no. 3303.0).

Medicare services

Medicare is Australia’s universal health insurance scheme. Services include access to free treatment as a public (Medicare) patient in a public hospital, and free or subsidised treatment by medical practitioners including general practitioners, specialists, participating optometrists or dentists (specified services only).
Reference: Health Insurance Commission.

Motor vehicle traffic accident deaths

deaths where motor traffic accidents are identified as the underlying cause (ICD-9 codes E810-E819 up to 1996; ICD-10 relevant codes selected from V01-V89 for 1997 and onwards).
Reference: Causes of Death, Australia (ABS cat. no. 3303.0).

Neonatal deaths

deaths of any child weighing at least 400 grams at delivery (or, when birthweight is unavailable, of at least 20 weeks gestation) who was born alive (as defined under live birth) and who died within 28 days of birth.
Reference: Causes of Death, Australia (ABS cat. no. 3303.0).

Overweight or obese adults

overweight is defined by a body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 25 and less than 30, while obesity is defined by a BMI greater than or equal to 30. BMI is body weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in metres.
Reference: National Health Survey: Summary of Results, 2001 (ABS cat. no. 4364.0).

Perinatal mortality rate

the annual number of fetal and neonatal deaths per 1,000 live births and fetal deaths combined (where birthweight was at least 400 grams).
Reference: Causes of Death, Australia (ABS cat. no. 3303.0).

Persons with private health insurance

proportion of the total population with private health insurance.
Reference: Private Health Insurance Administration Council (PHIAC) Annual Report 2001-02, PHIAC, Canberra.


Physically inactive

includes persons who reported that within the two-week reference period they did not undertake any deliberate exercise activities, including walking, for sport, recreation or fitness and persons who exercised at a very low level based on the frequency, duration and intensity of their reported exercise.
Reference: National Health Survey: Summary of Results, 2001 (ABS cat. no. 4364.0).

Private health insurance

provides cover against all or part of hospital theatre and accommodation costs in either a public or private hospital, medical costs in hospital, and costs associated with a range of services, not covered under Medicare including private dental services, optical, chiropractic, home nursing, ambulance, natural therapies and other ancillary services.
Reference: Private Health Insurance Administration Council, Insure? Not Sure? pdf/insure.pdf>, accessed 03 April 2003.

Profound/severe core activity restriction

the person: is unable to do, or needs help with, a core activity task (communication, mobility or self-care); or, has difficulty understanding or being understood by family or friends; or can communicate more easily using sign language or other non-spoken forms of communication.
Reference: Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of findings (ABS cat. no. 4430.0).

Prostate cancer deaths

deaths where malignant neoplasm of the prostate gland is identified as the underlying cause (ICD-9 code 185 up to 1996; ICD-10 code C61 for 1997 and onwards).
Reference: Causes of Death, Australia (ABS cat. no. 3303.0).

Psychological distress

derived from the Kessler 10 Scale (K10). This is a scale of non-specific psychological distress based on 10 questions about negative emotional states in the four weeks prior to interview. The K10 is scored from 10 to 50, with high scores indicating a high level of distress, and low scores indicating a low level of distress. Scores are grouped as follows:
  • Low (10-15)
  • Moderate (16-21)
  • High (22-29)
  • Very High (30-50).
    Reference: National Health Survey: Summary of Results, 2001 (ABS cat. no. 4364.0).

    Residential aged care places (per 1,000 population aged 70 years and over)

    the number of beds which are provided for long-term nursing care to chronically ill, frail or disabled persons, and beds provided for people who are unable to live wholly independently but do not require nursing care, per 1,000 of the population aged 70 years and over, averaged over each month of the financial year.
    Reference: Residential Aged Care in Australia 2000-01: A statistical overview, (AIHW cat. no. AGE-22).

    Risky/high-risk drinkers

    males aged 18 years and over who reported drinking more than 50 ml and up to and including 75 ml of absolute alcohol (risky) or more than 75 ml (high-risk) on average per day, and females aged 18 years and over who reported drinking more than 25 ml and up to and including 50 ml of absolute alcohol (risky) and more than 50 ml (high-risk) on average per day.
    Reference: National Health Survey: Summary of Results, 2001 (ABS cat. no. 4364.0).

    Skin cancer deaths

    deaths where malignant neoplasm of the skin, including both melanoma and non-melanocytic skin cancer is identified as the underlying cause (ICD-9 codes 172-173 up to 1996; ICD-10 codes C43-C44 for 1997 and onwards).
    Reference: Causes of Death, Australia (ABS cat. no. 3303.0).

    Standardised rates

    these enable the comparison of rates between populations with differing age structures by relating them to a standard population. These rates are the overall rates that would have prevailed in the standard population if it had experienced at each age the rates of the population being studied. Mortality and Medicare usage rates use the 2001 Australian population as the standard population. All other standardised rates use the Australian population of the year that the survey was last collected.
    Reference:
    Deaths, Australia (ABS cat. no. 3302.0).

    Stroke deaths

    deaths where cerebrovascular disease (causing a blockage (embolism) or rupture (haemorrhage) of blood vessels within or leading to the brain) is identified as the underlying cause (ICD-9 codes 430-438 up to 1996; ICD-10 codes I60-I69 for 1997 and onwards).
    Reference: Causes of Death, Australia (ABS cat. no. 3303.0).

    Suicide deaths

    deaths where suicide is identified as the underlying cause (ICD-9 codes E950-E959 up to 1996; ICD-10 codes X60-X84 for 1997 and onwards).
    Reference: Causes of Death, Australia (ABS cat. no. 3303.0).

    Survival to 50, 70 and 85 years

    the probability of survival to specific ages represents the proportion of survivors from birth to that age in a life table. Estimates are based on Life Tables calculated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. For 1992 to 1996 data, expectation of life has been based on annual life tables. From 1997 onwards, expectation of life has been calculated using data for the three years ending in the year shown in the table heading. In accordance with this, from 1992 to 1996 the probability of survival is based on life tables calculated using annual life tables. From 1997 onwards, the probability of survival is based on life tables calculated using three years of data ending in the year shown in the table heading.
    Reference: Deaths, Australia (ABS cat. no. 3302.0).

    Total number of deaths

    Based on the year in which the death was registered. Estimates may differ from estimates given in the Population chapter of this publication, which are based on the year in which the death occurred.
    Reference: Causes of Death, Australia (ABS cat. no. 3303.0).


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