4715.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, 2018-19 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/12/2019   
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High blood pressure


Hypertension (high blood pressure)

Hypertension is a long-term health condition that can lead to serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, heart failure or kidney disease [1].

The proportion of people who reported hypertension increased to 8%, up from 5% in 2012–13.

The proportion of people with hypertension was:

    • the same for males and females (both 8%)
    • higher for people living in remote areas (10%) than non-remote areas (8%).

The increase between 2012–13 and 2018–19 was driven by the proportion of people with hypertension doubling from 4% to 8% in non-remote areas.


Hypertension, by remoteness, 2012–13 and 2018–19
Graph shows between 2012–13 to 2018–19 the proportion of people who reported having hypertension increased for those living in non-remote areas (4% and 8%) and remained the same in remote areas (11% and 10%).

(a) The difference between 2012–13 and 2018–19 for people living in remote areas is not statistically significant.

Source(s): 2012–13 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey and 2018–19 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey


The proportion of people who reported having hypertension increased with age from 25 years and over, from 3% of people aged 25–34 years to 38% of people aged 55 years and over.

Measured high blood pressure

Blood pressure measurements were also voluntarily taken at the time of interview for people aged 18 years and over. See Physical measurements (appendix) for more information.

More than two in 10 (23%) people aged 18 years and over had a high blood pressure reading at the time of interview. The proportion of people with a high reading at the time of interview was:
    • higher than in 2012–13 (20%)
    • higher for males (25%) than females (21%)
    • about the same for people living in non-remote areas (23%) and remote areas (22%).

A high reading at the time of interview does not necessarily mean the person had hypertension. However, it can indicate a person may have undiagnosed or untreated hypertension. The gap between a high reading and reported hypertension narrowed as age increased from 25–34 years onwards.
    • For those aged 25–34 years, the proportion with a high reading (16%) was around five times higher than the proportion with hypertension (3%).
    • By 55 years and over, the proportion of people with a high reading (37%) and reported hypertension (38%) was about the same.


High blood pressure, by age

Graph shows the gap between a high measured reading and reported hypertension decreased by age from 25–34 years (16% compared with 3%) until there was no gap for people aged 55 years and over (37% compared with 38%).

(a) The difference between hypertension and measured blood pressure for people aged 55 years and over is not statistically significant.

Source(s): 2018–19 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey


Footnote
1. Heart Foundation, Blood pressure, <http://heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart/know-your-risks/blood-pressure>; last accessed 14/11/2019.