4727.0.55.006 - Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Updated Results, 2012–13  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/06/2014  First Issue
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MEASURED HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
High blood pressure is an important risk factor for stroke, heart disease, and other cardiovascular diseases. According to World Health Organization guidelines, a person is defined as having high blood pressure if their systolic or diastolic blood pressure is equal to or greater than 140/90 mmHg.

The results below refer to measured blood pressure only, and do not include people who might otherwise have high blood pressure but are managing their condition through the use of blood pressure medications or other actions.

UPDATED RESULTS FROM 2012–13

In 2012–13, one in five (20%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 18 years and over had measured high blood pressure.

Overall, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men were significantly more likely than women to have recorded a high blood pressure reading (23% compared with 18%). The proportion of men with measured high blood pressure was significantly higher than the comparable proportion for women in the 18–24, 35–44 and 45–54 year age groups.

The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults with measured high blood pressure increased with age, ranging from 7% of 18–24 year olds to 36% of people aged 55 years and over.

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE(a) BY AGE AND SEX, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people—2012–-13
Graph: High Blood Pressure by Age and Sex

In 2012–13, four in five (79%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults with measured high blood pressure did not report that they had the condition. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 55 years and over with measured high blood pressure were more likely than those in younger age groups to have also reported hypertensive heart disease (31%).

CHANGE OVER TIME

Information on measured blood pressure was collected for the first time in the 2012–13 Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey.

HOW DO THESE RATES COMPARE WITH THE RATES FOR NON-INDIGENOUS PEOPLE?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults were more likely than non-Indigenous adults to have high measured blood pressure at a relatively young age. The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults with systolic or diastolic blood pressure equal to or greater than 140/90 mmHg was significantly higher than the comparable rate for non-Indigenous adults in age groups 25–34, 35–44 and 45–54 years.

Graph Image for High Blood Pressure(a), by Indigenous status and age, 2012-13

Footnote(s): (a) Measured blood pressure is 140/90 mmHg or higher. (b) Difference between rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people is not statistically significant.

Source(s): 2012-13 Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, 2011-12 Australian Health Survey



After adjusting for differences in the age structure of the two populations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 18 years and over were significantly more likely than non-Indigenous people to have recorded a high blood pressure reading (rate ratio of 1.2). There was a statistically significant difference between the rates for men and women (rate ratio of 1.2 for both).

Similar proportions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults and non-Indigenous adults with measured high blood pressure did not report that they had the condition (rate ratio of 1.0).