1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/09/2010   
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Selected causes of death by sex - 2008(a)
Graph Image for Selected causes of death by sex - 2008(a)

Footnote(s): (a) Causes listed are the leading causes of death in 2008, based on total number of deaths. See Health datacube for more information. (b) Standardised death rate per 100,000 population. The standard population is the 2001 Australian estimated resident population. (c) Diseases of the circulatory system. (d) Diseases of the respiratory system.

Source(s): ABS Causes of Death, Australia 2008 (cat. no. 3303.0)


There are numerous biological and gender factors that result in different health outcomes for men and women. For example, while men are more likely to engage in risky behaviours such as substance abuse and dangerous driving, women are more likely than men to visit a health professional, and tend to have a lower prevalence of many long-term conditions.

A girl born in 2008 could expect to live 4.5 years longer than a boy born in 2008 (to 83.7 years and 79.2 years respectively). However, in recent years, life expectancy at birth for males has increased more quickly than for females. From 1998 to 2008, life expectancy increased by 3.3 years for men and 2.2 years for women.

In 2008, the standardised death rate (SDR) for men was higher than for women (7.3 deaths per 1,000 men, compared with 5.0 deaths per 1,000 women) (ABS 2009b). This difference is attributed to different attitudes, biology, behaviours, lifestyles and the different working patterns of men and women. Women, for example, are less likely to be overweight or to smoke, which reduces the risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Men, however, are more often involved in hazardous occupations and are more prone to risky behaviours, particularly in early years of adult life, which together result in higher death rates due to accidents (ABS 2010c).

Self-assessed health status was very similar for men and women. In 2007-08, 55% of men reported their health as excellent or very good compared with 57% of women (ABS 2010g).

In regards to disability, a profound or severe core-activity limitation was more common for young men (aged 5-14 years) than young women (aged 5-14 years) (6.5% and 3.3% respectively) in 2003. In contrast, women aged 80 years and over were much more likely than men of the same age to have a profound or severe core-activity limitation (52% compared with 34%) (ABS 2004).


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