4364.0.55.001 - National Health Survey: First Results, 2017-18  
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Australian Capital Territory

How did people in Australian Capital Territory rate their health in 2017-18?

  • Around three in five (59.6%) people aged 15 years and over considered themselves to be in excellent or very good health.
  • One in nine (11.1%) adults aged 18 years and over experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress.

Chronic conditions (Persons, all ages)

Chronic health conditions experienced in Australian Capital Territory in 2017-18 were:
  • Mental and behavioural conditions - 83,600 people (20.8%)
  • Back problems - 67,900 people (16.9%)
  • Arthritis - 60,100 people (14.9%)
  • Asthma - 48,700 people (12.1%)
  • Osteoporosis - 19,400 people (4.8%)
  • Heart, stroke and vascular disease - 18,100 people (4.5%)
  • Diabetes mellitus - 16,200 people (4.0%)
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) - 9,700 people (2.4%)
  • Cancer - 8,300 people (2.1%)
  • Kidney disease - 3,500* people (0.9%)

The Australian Capital Territory had similar chronic health condition rates compared with Australian rates.

Mental and behavioural conditions
  • In 2017-18, one in five (20.8%) people had a mental or behavioural condition.
  • One in seven (13.9%) had an anxiety-related condition and one in ten (10.3%) had depression or feelings of depression.
  • Females were more likely than males to have reported an anxiety-related condition in 2017-18 (16.7% compared with 11.4%), while males and females experienced similar rates of depression or feelings of depression.

Health risk factors

Smoking

Adults (18 years and over)
  • One in ten (10.6%) adults were daily smokers in 2017-18. This rate was similar to 2014-15 (12.4%).
  • Men were more likely than women to be a daily smoker (12.7% compared with 8.8%). In particular, men aged 25-34 years were almost twice as likely as women in the same age group to be a daily smoker (14.0% compared with 7.4%).
  • Around three in five adults (59.7%) have never smoked. Young adults aged 18-24 years were more likely to have never smoked (79.8%) than other adults.
  • Adults with a highest educational attainment of Year 10 or below were over eight times more likely than those with a Postgraduate qualification to be a daily smoker (26.0% compared with 3.0%).
  • Adults who were daily smokers on average smoked 11.7 cigarettes per day, which is just over half a pack (a pack is considered to be 20 cigarettes).

Australian Capital Territory had a lower rate of daily smokers compared with Australia (10.6% compared with 13.8%), and a higher rate of adults who had never smoked (59.7% compared with 55.7%).

Overweight and Obesity

Adults (18 years and over)
  • In 2017-18, almost two thirds (64.0%) of adults were overweight or obese. Over one third (37.6%) of adults were overweight and over one quarter (26.4%) were obese. More than one third (35.1%) were within the healthy weight range and 1.4% were underweight.
  • Although the proportion of adults who were overweight or obese has increased since 2007-08 where 57.8% of adults were overweight or obese, it has remained similar to 2014-15 (63.5%).
  • Men were more likely than women to be overweight or obese (70.5% compared with 57.2%).

Children (aged 2-17 years)
  • More than one quarter (28.6%) of children were overweight or obese, with the rates in 2017-18 being similar for boys and girls. These rates have remained unchanged since 2014-15.
  • In 2017-18, 22.1% of children were categorised as overweight and 7.4% were categorised as obese.

The Australian Capital Territory had a lower rate of adults who were obese compared with Australia (26.4% compared with 31.3%) and higher rates of adults in the healthy weight range (35.1% compared with 31.7%). The rates for children were similar to the national rate.

Alcohol consumption[1]

Adults (18 years and over)

Lifetime risk guideline
  • Almost one in six (16.0%) adults consumed more than two standard drinks per day on average, exceeding the lifetime risk guideline in 2017-18, similar to the rate in 2014-15 (15.7%). However there has been a decline since 2011-12 (21.0%).
  • Men were more than twice as likely as women (22.5% compared with 9.4%) to have exceeded the lifetime risk guideline. These rates have remained relatively similar since 2014-15 (23.4% and 9.2% respectively).

Single occasion risk guideline
  • More than two in five (44.1%) adults consumed more than four standard drinks on one occasion in the past year, exceeding the single occasion risk guideline. This rate was similar to 2014-15 (44.3%).
  • Men were over one and a half times more likely than women (53.9% compared with 34.2%) to have exceeded the single occasion risk guideline. These rates have remained similar since 2014-15 (56.1% and 33.2% respectively).

High blood pressure

Adults (18 years and over)
  • In 2017-18, around one in five (19.9%) adults had a measured high blood pressure reading.

Australian Capital Territory had a lower rate of adults who had a measure high blood pressure reading compared with Australia (19.9% compared with 22.8%). The Australian Capital Territory has a younger age structure than Australia as a whole (median age of 35 years compared with 37 nationally) and this contributes to this, as the difference does not remain when differences in age structures were taken into account.

Fruit and vegetable consumption[2]

Adults (18 years and over)
  • Almost half of adults (48.1%) met the Australian Dietary Guidelines for recommended daily serves of fruit (2 or more serves), whilst one in fourteen (6.8%) met the guidelines for daily serves of vegetables (5-6 or more serves for men depending on age, and 5 or more for women).
  • Fewer than one in twenty (4.2%) adults met the guidelines for recommended daily serves of both fruit and vegetables.

Children (2-17 years)
  • More than three quarters (75.3%) of children met the Australian Dietary Guidelines for recommended daily serves of fruit, whilst 3.5% met the guidelines for recommended daily serves of vegetables.
  • Only 3.5% met the guidelines for recommended daily serves of both fruit and vegetables.

Australian Capital Territory had a lower rate of adults meeting the Australian Dietary Guidelines for recommended daily serves of fruit compared with Australia (48.1% compared with 51.3%).

Sugar sweetened and diet drink consumption

Adults (aged 18 years and over)
  • Two in five (43.3%) adults consume either sugar sweetened or diet drinks at least once per week.
  • One in fifteen (6.7%) adults consume sugar sweetened drinks daily. Adults also consume diet drinks daily at a similar rate (5.5%).
  • Men are more than twice as likely as women to consume sugar drinks daily (9.0% compared with 3.8%).

Children (2-17 years)
  • Over one third of children (39.7%) consume either sugar sweetened or diet drinks at least once per week.
  • Sugar sweetened drinks are more popular than diet drinks with 36.0% of children consuming sugar sweetened drinks at least once per week compared with 4.7% for diet drinks.
  • One in thirteen (7.2%) children consume sugar sweetened drinks daily and over one quarter (26.7%) consume 1-3 days per week.
  • Boys are more likely than girls to consume sugar drinks at least once per week (42.4% compared with 31.3%).

Australian Capital Territory adults are less likely to consume either sugar sweetened or diet drinks at least once per week (43.3% compared with 48.0%), sugar sweetened drinks at least once per week (30.0% compared with 36.2%) and sugar sweetened drinks daily (6.7% compared with 9.1%) compared with the national rates. The rates for children were similar to the national rates.

Physical activity[3]
  • Three in five (62.6%) 18-64 year olds undertook 150 minutes or more of exercise in the last week, excluding workplace physical activity, this increased to 68.8% when workplace physical activity was included.
  • Three in ten (30.0%) 18-64 year olds undertook strength or toning activities on two or more days in the last week.
  • Adults aged 18-64 years described their day at work as mostly sitting (60.0%), 16.6% described their day as mostly walking, 15.6% as mostly standing and 6.7% as mostly heavy labour or physically demanding work.
  • Almost one third (30.9%) of older adults (65 years and over) engaged in 30 minutes of exercise on 5 or more days in the last week.

Australian Capital Territory had a higher rate of adults aged 18-64 years who undertook 150 minutes or more of exercise in the last week excluding workplace activity compared with Australia (62.6% compared with 55.4%), although a higher rate who described their day as mostly sitting (60.0% compared with 43.7%).

For further information

For further information about these and related statistics see publication National Health Survey: First Results, 2017-18 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.001), or contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.

Endnotes

1 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), 2009. Australian guideline to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol, Canberra: NHMRC <https://nhmrc.gov.au/health-advice/alcohol >; For more information see Glossary.

2 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), 2013. Australian Dietary Guidelines. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council. <https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines>; For more information see Glossary.

3 Department of Health, 21 November 2017, The Department of Health: Australia's Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines <http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/health-pubhlth-strateg-phys-act-guidelines>.

* Estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution