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It should be noted that risk level as defined by the NHMRC is based on regular consumption levels of alcohol where as estimates of risk from the NHS do not take into account whether consumption in the reference week was more, less or the same as usual.
The level of long term risk is associated with regular daily patterns of drinking. Drinking status information was also collected for those who did not consume any alcohol in the 7 days prior to interview. Categorised as:
Any cover provided by private insurance organisations for health-related services other than medical or hospital cover (e.g. physiotherapy, dental, optical, chiropractic and ambulance).
Arthritis is characterised by an inflammation of the joints often resulting in pain, stiffness, disability and deformity.
A chronic disease marked by episodes of wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath associated with widespread narrowing of the airways within the lungs and obstruction of airflow. To be current, symptoms of asthma or treatment for asthma must have occurred in the last 12 months.
Indication of the severity of any bodily pain that the respondent had experienced (from any and all causes) during the last 4 weeks. This is a self-assessment from the SF36 international instrument.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
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.
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 cutoffs 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 cutoffs used to calculate BMI for children see 2007-08 National Health Survey Users' Guide cat. no. (4363.0.55.001).
Cause of condition
Asked in respect of all the current long term conditions which the respondent had previously reported. This refers to the respondent's perception of whether the condition was the result of an injury.
See long term medical condition.
Current daily smoker
A current daily smoker is an adult who reported that they regularly smoked one or more cigarettes, cigars or pipes per day. See also Smoker status.
Days away from work or study
Refers to days on which the respondent was away from work, school or other educational institution for at least half the day. Absences included days away due to a respondent’s own illness or injury.
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.
As specified by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for fruit and vegetable consumption. See Usual intake of fruit and Usual intake of vegetables.
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 which 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.
Based on frequency, intensity (i.e. walking, moderate exercise and vigorous exercise) and duration of exercise (for fitness, recreation or sport) in the two weeks prior to the interview. From these components, an exercise score was derived using factors to represent the intensity of the exercise:
Scores were grouped into the following four categories:
Inadequate exercise levels are sedentary and low exercise levels. Sedentary refers to sitting in one place for extended periods of time.
For more information see 2007-08 National Health Survey Users' Guide cat. no. (4363.0.55.001).
Fat content of milk
An indication of intake of fat. Categorised as:
Government health card
Refers to coverage by the following government-issued cards which entitle the card holder, and in some cases their dependents, to a variety of health benefits or concessions (e.g. medical care, hospital treatment/accommodation, supply of pharmaceuticals, free of charge or at reduced rates).
Heart, stroke and vascular conditions
A subset of reported long term conditions comprising the following:
Health risk factors
Specific lifestyle and related factors impacting on health, including:
Health insurance provided by a private insurance organisation to cover all or part of the costs of private accommodation in a public hospital, charges for private hospital treatment and care in a public hospital by a doctor of the patient's choice.
A household is defined as one or more persons, at least one of whom is at least 15 years of age, usually resident in the same private dwelling. In this survey, only households with at least one adult (aged 18 years and over) were included.
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.
High sugar levels in blood or urine.
The Index of disadvantage
This is one of four Socio Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFAs) 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 disadvantage summarises attributes such as low income, low educational attainment, high unemployment and jobs in relatively unskilled occupations. As shown in this publication 1st quintile refers to the most disadvantaged group, while 5th quintile refers to the least disadvantaged group. For further information about SEIFAs see Chapter 6 of the 2007-08 National Health Survey: Users' Guide. (cat. no. 4363.0.55.001)
Ischaemic heart disease
A disease of the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle.
Long term 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. Some reported conditions were assumed to be long term, including asthma, arthritis, cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, rheumatic heart disease, heart attack, angina, heart failure and stroke. Rheumatic heart disease, heart attack, angina, heart failure and stroke are also assumed to be current.
Mental health conditions
Equivalent to Mental and behavioural problems. Includes anxiety related problems such as phobias and mood (affective) problems such as depression.
Exercise for fitness, recreation, or sport which caused a moderate increase in heart rate or breathing.
A neoplasm is a new growth of abnormal tissue (a tumour). Tumours can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancer). Cancer refers to several diseases and can affect most types of cells in various parts of the body.
Not in the labour force
Persons who are not employed or unemployed as defined, including persons who:
A swelling of any organ or tissue due to accumulation of excess fluid.
A condition that thins and weakens bone mineral density, generally caused by loss of calcium, which leads to increased risk of fracture. Data was collected from persons aged 15 years and over plus those with gout, rheumatism or arthritis.
Other health professionals
Includes consultation, for own health reasons, with one or more of the following:
Any medication used in the two weeks prior to interview for the treatment of asthma, arthritis, osteoporosis, heart and circulatory conditions, diabetes, mental health or psychological distress. It does not include medication identified by respondents as vitamins or minerals, or natural or herbal medication.
Private health insurance and cover
Refers to the private health insurance status at the time of the survey of persons aged 15 years and over. The category 'With cover' includes those with hospital and/or ancillary cover, and those with cover but the type of cover was unknown.
Derived from the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale -10 items (K10). This is a scale of non-specific psychological distress based on 10 questions about negative emotional states in the 4 weeks prior to interview. The K10 is scored from 10 to 50, with higher scores indicating a higher level of distress; low scores indicate a low level of distress. In this publication, scores are grouped as follows:
Data is only collected from respondents aged 18 years and over.
Self-assessed body mass
Respondents reported assessment of himself/herself as being underweight, of acceptable weight or overweight.
Self-assessed health status
A person's general assessment of their own health against a five point scale from excellent through to poor.
A number of issues which may be discussed to assist in the management of the condition
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:
Type of conditions
All reported long term medical conditions were coded to a classification developed by the ABS 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 2007-08 National Health Survey: Users' Guide. (cat. no. 4363.0.55.001)
Type of medication
Obtained for medication reported as used in the two weeks prior to interview for asthma, arthritis, osteoporosis, heart and circulatory conditions, diabetes, mental health conditions or related to psychological distress. Included are vitamins and minerals, natural and herbal medication and pharmaceutical medication. Pharmaceutical medications are classified by generic type, based on reported medication name. The generic drug name is the non-proprietary name for the active chemicals in a medicine, in contrast to the proprietary name (trade or brand name) for a medicine.
Two items relating to type of medication are available for those with a mental health condition and for everyone aged 18 years and over related to psychological distress:
For further information see 2007-08 National Health Survey: Users' Guide. (cat. no. 4363.0.55.001)
Type of milk
Main type of milk usually consumed, including cow's milk, soy milk, evaporated and condensed milk, and other unspecified types of milk. Fat content of milk data available on request.
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) has recommended a minimum of two serves of fruit per day for adults and three serves of fruit for children aged 12 to 17 years and one serve for children aged 5 to 11 years.
Usual daily intake of vegetables
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) has recommended a minimum of five serves of vegetables per day for adults and four serves of vegetables for children aged 12-17 years, three serves for 8 -11 years and two serves for children aged 5- 11 years.
Exercise for fitness, recreation or sport which caused a large increase in heart rate or breathing.
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:
Year of arrival
The year in which a person, reporting a country of birth other than Australia, first arrived in Australia to live for a period of one year or more.
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