4727.0.55.002 - Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2012-13  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/11/2013  First Issue
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All  
Contents >> Health Conditions >> Osteoporosis



This topic refers primarily to those ever told by a doctor or nurse they have osteoporosis or osteopenia (a mild loss of bone mass density that may progress to osteoporosis).


Information was obtained for all persons 15 years and over and selected persons aged less than 15 years who reported they currently have gout, rheumatism or arthritis in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS).


Respondents aged 15 years and over, and younger respondents who reported having gout, rheumatism or arthritis, were asked whether they had ever been told by a doctor or nurse that they had osteoporosis, osteopenia (non-remote areas only) or both. The age they were first told was then asked of those persons in non-remote areas, having reported had osteoporosis or osteopenia. All cases were assumed to be current and long-term.

Respondents in non-remote areas were asked whether they had taken any medicine or tablets in the last 2 weeks and whether they had their bone density tested in the last 2 years.

Data items

The data items and related output categories for this topic are available in Excel spreadsheet format from the Downloads page of this product.


Points to be considered in interpreting data for this topic include the following:

  • The currency and long-term nature of the condition were assumed. While this is appropriate for the nature of this condition, it differs conceptually from the approach used for most other conditions covered in the survey.
  • Those cases of osteoporosis reported through the 'Long-term conditions' module, rather than the 'osteoporosis' module, have not necessarily been diagnosed by a doctor or nurse. These respondents are identified by their conditions status of 4: Not known if ever told or not ever told, but condition current and long-term.
  • Because this is a household based survey, those people with osteoporosis or osteopenia resident in hospitals, nursing or convalescent homes or similar accommodation are outside the scope of this survey. As a result, the survey will under-represent those with more severe complications of the condition, and the elderly.

Comparability with 2004-05 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS)

The osteoperosis module was asked of all persons in the 2004-05 NATSIHS. The questions asked of non-remote respondents in 2004-05 contained additional questions regarding medication and did not ask about bone density testing. Besides these differences, results are considered comparable to the previous NATSIHS.

Comparability with 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS)

Osteoporosis information was not collected in the 2008 NATSISS, therefore no comparisons can be made.

Comparability with 2011-12 National Health Survey (NHS)

The osteoperosis module was asked of the same population to that of the 2012-13 NATSIHS in the NHS 2011-12. The non-remote portion of the NATSIHS was identical to that of the NHS and therefore is considered directly comparable.

Previous PageNext Page