4125.0 - Gender Indicators, Australia, Nov 2019  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/11/2019   
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HEALTH

KEY FINDINGS

The key findings for Health are:

    1. Women are expected to live 4.2 years longer than men, though the gap is narrowing. Around 40 years ago, the gap was 7.0 years.
    2. Ischaemic heart disease remains the leading cause of death for men, but has been overtaken as the leading cause of death for women by Dementia & Alzheimer's disease.
    3. Women are more likely then men to have reported experiencing high or very high levels of psychological distress or a mood (affective) disorder such as depression.

DATA

The detailed data supporting the following insights are available from the Downloads tab of this publication:
    • Data Cube 7: Health - Health status
    • Data Cube 8: Health - Deaths
    • Data Cube 9: Health - Risk factors and Services.


INSIGHTS

Health Status

Life expectancy

This section presents information from Australian Historical Population Statistics (cat. no. 3105.0.65.001), Life Tables, States, Territories and Australia, 2016-18 (cat. no. 3302.0.55.001), and Life Tables for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2015-2017 (cat. no. 3302.0.55.003).
 
Life expectancy at birth is greater for Australian females than males, however male life expectancy is improving at a faster rate than that of females. In 2016-18, life expectancy at birth for females was 4.2 years more than males: 84.9 years for females and 80.7 years for males. Around 40 years ago (1976), life expectancy for females was 76.4 years compared with 69.4 years for males: a gap of 7.0 years. For these data see Australian Historical Population Statistics (cat. no. 3105.0.65.001).

According to Life Expectancy at Birth in Life Tables, States, Territories and Australia, 2016-18 (cat.no. 3302.0.55.001), reasons for improvements in life expectancy include, but are not limited to,:
    • Improved health services
    • Safer working environments
    • Advances in medicine and technology.


Life expectancy at birth, 1976 to 2016-18(a)
Graph showing life expectancy at birth, 1976 to 2016-18
Footnote(s): (a) From 2016-18, Life expectancy is based on three years of data ending in the year shown in the category
Source(s):  Australian Historical Population Statistics, 2016 (cat. no. 3105.0.65.001); Life Tables, States, Territories and Australia, 2016-18 (cat. no. 3302.0.55.001)


In 2015-17, life expectancy at birth for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples was higher for females (75.6 years) than males (71.6 years). It has increased slightly more for males than females since 2005-07: 73.1 years for females and 67.5 years for males.

Long-term health conditions

This section presents information from National Health Survey: First Results 2017-18 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.001).

In 2017-18, women (78.0%) were more likely then men (75.9%) to have one or more reported long-term health conditions.

Mental and behavioural conditions were more common amongst females (22.3%) than males (17.9%). Unlike many other conditions, the proportion of people with a mental or behavioural condition did not increase with age. Almost one in three females (30.0%) aged 15-24 years had a mental or behavioural condition and just over one in five males (21.3%) of the same age.

Women were more likely to have:
    • Asthma
    • Arthritis
    • Mental and behavioural conditions.

Men were more likely to have:
    • Ischaemic heart disease
    • Heart, stroke and vascular disease
    • Diabetes (Diabetes / High sugar levels and Diabetes mellitus).

While women (12.3%) had higher rates of asthma than men (10.2%), asthma was more common among boys (12.1%) aged 0-14 years than girls (7.9%), with this pattern being consistent since 2001.


Proportion of people who reported one or more long-term health conditions by sex, 2017-18(a)(b)(c)(d)(e)(f)(g)(h)(i)
Graph showing proportion of people who reported one or more long-term health conditions by sex, 2017-18
Footnote(s): (a) Unless otherwise specified this includes current conditions which have lasted or are expected to last for six months or more.
(b) Graph includes non-standardised age data. Age-standardised data is available in Data cube 7, Table 7.3.
(c) Includes alcohol and drug problems, mood (affective) disorders, anxiety related disorders, organic mental disorders and other mental and behavioural conditions.
(d) Includes rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, other and type unknown.
(e) Includes Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, Diabetes type unknown and High sugar levels.
(f) Estimates include persons who reported they had diabetes Type 1, Type 2 and Type Unknown but that it was not current at the time of interview. These persons were excluded from previous estimates of diabetes published in National Health Survey: Summary of results for 2001 and 2007–08 (cat. no 4364.0) and in Australian Health Survey: First Results 2011–12 (cat. no 4364.0.55.001). For more information see the Glossary in National Health Survey: First Results, 2017-18 (cat. no 4364.0.55.001).
 and 'Comparability with previous National Health Surveys' in the Explanatory Notes for National Health Survey: First Results, 2014-15 (cat. no 4364.0.55.001).
(g) Includes angina, heart attack and other ischaemic heart diseases. Estimates include persons who reported they had angina, heart attack and other ischaemic heart diseases but that these conditions were not current at the time of interview. These persons were excluded from previous estimates of Ischaemic heart disease published in National Health Survey: Summary of results 2007–08, Australian Health Survey: First Results 2011–12 (cat. no 4364.0.55.001) and Australian Health Survey: Updated Results, 2011–12 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.003). For more information see the Glossary in National Health Survey: First Results, 2017-18 (cat. no 4364.0.55.001).
(h) Includes angina, heart attack, other ischaemic heart diseases, stroke, other cerebrovascular diseases, oedema, heart failure, and diseases of the arteries, arterioles and capillaries. Estimates include persons who reported they had angina, heart attack, other ischaemic heart diseases, stroke or other cerebrovascular diseases but that these conditions were not current at the time of interview. These persons were excluded from previous estimates of heart, stroke and vascular disease published in Australian Health Survey: First Results, 2011–12 (cat. no 4364.0.55.001) and Australian Health Survey: Updated Results, 2011–12 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.003). For more information see 'Comparability with previous National Health Surveys' in the Explanatory Notes for National Health Survey: First Results, 2014-15 (cat. no 4364.0.55.001).
(i) Malignant neoplasms.
Source(s): National Health Survey: First Results, 2017-18 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.001)


Mental health

This section presents information from National Health Survey: First Results 2017-18 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.001).

Psychological distress

More women than men reported experiencing high or very high levels of psychological distress in 2017-18 (14.5% and 11.3% respectively). This difference was highest among 18 to 24 year olds, where 18.4% of females experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress, compared with 12.4% of males.

Mental health conditions

In 2017-18, females (12.0%) were more likely to have reported a mood (affective) disorder, such as depression, compared with males (9.5%). In most age groups, females were more likely to have a mental or behavioural condition, except for the 0-14 age group (8.2% of females compared with 13.7% of males).

For both females and males, those in the 15-24 year age group were most likely to have reported a mental or behavioural condition (30.0% and 21.3% respectively).


Proportion of people who reported a Mental and Behavioural Condition(a)(b) by sex, 2017-18

Footnote(s): (a) Unless otherwise specified this includes current conditions which have lasted or are expected to last for six months or more.
(b) Includes alcohol and drug problems, mood (affective) disorders, anxiety related disorders, organic mental disorders and other mental and behavioural conditions.
Source(s): National Health Survey: First Results, 2017-18 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.001)


Leading causes of death

This section presents information from Causes of Death, Australia, 2018 (cat. no. 3303.0).
In 2018, the top five leading causes of death for females and males were the same, although the ranking of the causes differed between the sexes. The table below lists the top 15 leading causes of death for females and males in 2018.

Lung cancer was the leading cause of cancer-related death for both females and males in 2018. It was the second leading cause of death overall for men and the fifth for women. Sex specific cancers (Malignant neoplasm of breast and Malignant neoplasm of prostate) were the sixth leading causes for females and males respectively. Suicide was the top ranked external cause of death among males (ranked 10th of all causes of death among males) in 2018, while accidental falls was the highest ranked external cause of death for females (ranked 14th).


Leading causes of death, Australia, by sex, 2018 (a)(b)(c)(d)(e)(f)(g)(h)

MalesFemales
Cause of death and ICD code
no.
SDR(d)
rank
Cause of death and ICD code
no.
SDR(d)
rank

Ischaemic heart diseases (I20-I25)
10 269
74.4
1
Dementia, including Alzheimer disease (F01, F03, G30)
8 973
44.0
1
Malignant neoplasm of trachea, bronchus and lung (C33, C34)
5 000
35.5
2
Ischaemic heart diseases (I20-I25)
7 264
37.6
2
Dementia, including Alzheimer disease (F01, F03, G30)
4 990
36.5
3
Cerebrovascular diseases (I60-I69)
5 808
30.4
3
Cerebrovascular diseases (I60-I69)
4 164
30.4
4
Chronic lower respiratory diseases (J40-J47)
3 839
22.0
4
Chronic lower respiratory diseases (J40-J47)
4 050
29.3
5
Malignant neoplasm of trachea, bronchus and lung (C33, C34)
3 586
22.3
5
Malignant neoplasm of prostate (C61)
3 264
23.6
6
Malignant neoplasms of breast (C50)
2 999
19.1
6
Malignant neoplasm of colon, sigmoid, rectum and anus (C18-C21, C26.0) (c)
2 905
20.9
7
Malignant neoplasm of colon, sigmoid, rectum and anus (C18-C21, C26.0) (c)
2 515
15.1
7
Malignant neoplasms of lymphoid, haematopoietic and related tissue (C81-C96)
2 705
19.6
8
Diabetes (E10-E14)
2 110
11.8
8
Diabetes (E10-E14)
2 546
18.4
9
Malignant neoplasms of lymphoid, haematopoietic and related tissue (C81-C96)
1 907
11.4
9
Intentional self-harm (X60-X84, Y87.0) (d)
2 320
18.6
10
Diseases of the urinary system (N00-N39)
1 859
9.6
10
Malignant neoplasm of pancreas (C25)
1 596
11.4
11
Heart failure and complications and ill-defined heart disease (I50-I51)
1 795
8.9
11
Diseases of the urinary system (N00-N39)
1 525
11.1
12
Influenza and pneumonia (J09-J18)
1 676
8.4
12
Accidental falls (W00-W19)
1 428
10.4
13
Cardiac arrhythmias (I47-I49)
1 525
7.6
13
Influenza and pneumonia (J09-J18)
1 426
10.4
14
Accidental falls (W00-W19)
1 524
7.8
14
Melanoma and other malignant neoplasms of skin  (C43-C44)
1 416
10.2
15
Malignant neoplasm of pancreas (C25)
1 481
9.0
15

Footnote(s):
(a) Causes listed are the top 15 leading causes of death for 2018, based on the WHO recommended tabulation of leading causes. See Explanatory Notes 38-41 in ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2018 (cat. no. 3303.0)
for further information. Groupings of deaths coded to Chapter XVIII: Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified (R00-R99) are not included in analysis, due to the unspecified nature of these causes. Furthermore, many deaths coded to this chapter are likely to be affected by revisions, and hence recoded to more specific causes of death as they progress through the revisions process.
(b) See Explanatory Notes 77-108 in in ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2018 (cat. no. 3303.0) for further information on specific issues related to interpreting time-series and 2018 data.
(c) The data presented for Malignant neoplasm of the colon, sigmoid, rectum and anus (C18-C21) includes deaths due to Malignant neoplasm of the intestinal tract, part unspecified (C26.0). Comparisons with data for this leading cause, and associated leading cause rankings, should therefore be made with caution. See Explanatory Note 40 in in ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2018 (cat. no. 3303.0).
(d) The data presented for intentional self-harm includes ICD-10 codes X60-X84 and Y87.0. Care needs to be taken in interpreting figures relating to intentional self-harm. See Explanatory Notes 41 and 91-100 in ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2018 (cat. no. 3303.0) for further information.
(e) Standardised death rate. Death rate per 100,000 estimated resident population as at 30 June (mid year). See Explanatory Notes 46-49 in ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2018 (cat. no. 3303.0) for further information.
(f) Causes of death data for 2018 are preliminary and subject to a revisions process. See Explanatory Notes 59-62 in ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2018 (cat. no. 3303.0).
(g) Changes in coding processes have been applied to 2018 data. See Technical Note Updates to Iris coding software: Implementing WHO updates and improvements in coding processes in ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2018 (cat. no. 3303.0).
(h) Care needs to be taken when interpreting data derived from Victorian coroner-referred deaths including suicide, see Explanatory Note 111 in ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2018 (cat. no. 3303.0).
Source(s): Causes of Death, Australia, 2018 (cat. no. 3303.0).


Over the last decade deaths due to ischaemic heart disease have been decreasing, while deaths due to Dementia & Alzheimer's disease has been increasing for both women and men.

Ischaemic heart disease remained the leading cause of death for men, yet was overtaken as the leading cause of death for women by Dementia & Alzheimer's disease. Dementia was the 7th leading cause of death for men in 2009 and had moved up to, and remained as, the 3rd leading cause of death for men since 2015. It has been suggested that Dementia will soon become the leading cause of death for both women and men, as discussed in 'Dementia: Australia's future leading cause of death?' in Causes of Death, Australia, 2015 (cat. no. 3303.0).


Deaths due to Ischaemic Heart Disease(a), by sex, 2008–2018

Footnote(s): (a) There have been some changes in methodology from 2013 onwards. For further information see Gender Indicators Table 8.2.
Source(s): Causes of Death, Australia, 2018 (cat. no. 3303.0)


Deaths due to Dementia and Alzheimer's disease(a), by sex, 2008-18

Footnote(s): (a) There have been some changes in methodology from 2013 onwards. For further information see Gender Indicators Table 8.2.
Source(s): Causes of Death, Australia, 2018 (cat. no. 3303.0)


Risk factors

This section presents information from National Health Survey: First Results 20107–18 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.001).

Lifetime risk guidelines

Women aged 18 years and over were less than half as likely as men to exceed the lifetime risk guideline of more than two standard drinks on average per day: 8.8% of women and 23.7% of men. Whilst men were more likely than women to exceed the guideline, the proportion of men exceeding the guideline declined since 2014-15 (25.8%). Whilst for women the rate has remained largely unchanged (9.3%).1

Current smokers

In 2017-18, women aged 15 years and over were less likely than men to be a current smoker (11.7% compared to 17.6%). Women were also less likely than men to smoke in 2007-08, but the rates of smoking were higher for both groups: 18.0% for women and 22.2% for men. The greatest decrease over the 10 years was for the 25-34 year age group: women from 22.3% to 11.6% and men from 32.8% to 21.7%. This was also the age group in both periods with the greatest difference between rates of smoking for women and men.


Current smokers by age group, 2007-08 and 2017-18
Graph showing deaths due to Ischaemic Heart Disease by sex, 2008-2018
Source(s): National Health Survey: First Results, 2017-18 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.001)


Overweight/obesity

In the last twenty years, the proportion of overweight or obese women and men aged 18 years and over has continued to increase.

In 2017-18, women were less likely than men to be overweight or obese across all age groups. A smaller proportion of women than men aged 18 years and over were overweight or obese (59.7% and 74.5% respectively). This difference was greatest in the overweight category, with 29.6% of women in the overweight category compared with 42.0% of men. Since 2014-15, the proportion of women in the overweight category has increased (up from 28.8%), while remaining consistent for men.

The proportion of women who were in the obese category was also lower than for men but the gap was much narrower (30.2% compared with 32.5%). Since 2014-15, the proportion of both women and men in the obese category increased. For women this changed from 27.4% to 30.2% and for men the increase was from 28.4% to 32.5%.


1. Gender Indicators, Australia, November 2019 (cat. no. 4125.0) data cubes include data on people aged 15 years and over who exceed the Lifetime risk guidelines for alcohol consumption. For data on people aged 18 years and over who exceed the Lifetime risk guidelines for alcohol consumption see National Health Survey: First Results, 2017-18 (4364.0.55.001).


No new data is available for the below topic. For analytical commentary on this topic, please refer to previous versions of this publication, which may be found in the Past & Future Releases tab.

    • Living with a disability.