4364.0.55.002 - Australian Health Survey: Health Service Usage and Health Related Actions, 2011-12  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/03/2013  First Issue
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26 March 2013
Embargo: 11:30 am (Canberra Time)

Health survey shows we are keeping an eye on our health

In 2011-12 over half of us regularly checked our skin for changes in freckles or moles, according to the second set of results released today from the Australian Health Survey.

People born in the UK or Australia were more likely to check their skin than those born in Asia (63% compared with 22%).

Louise Gates, Director of Health at the Australian Bureau of Statistics, said the results from the Australian Health Survey give us an important insight into the actions people take in relation to their health, in order to understand how better to prevent illness and injury.

"With heart disease remaining the leading cause of death in Australia and almost one in three people over 18 having hypertension, monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol levels is an important management strategy.

"The health survey found that almost nine in ten adults with a disease of the circulatory system had their blood pressure checked in the previous year, and almost three in four had their cholesterol checked.

"Early detection of cancer enhances the chance of treatment being effective, and almost one-third of people over 50 had been tested for bowel cancer at some time in the past, while two-thirds of women over 50 had been tested for breast cancer and just under half the men over 50 had been tested for prostate cancer.

"Poor health or injury can cause disruptions to a person's lifestyle with one in three people with a mental or behavioural condition having time off work, study or school in the previous year, more than any other long-term health condition.

"The survey also has new data on breastfeeding, and almost all children under four had breastmilk at some time."

Further information is available in Australian Health Survey: Health Service Usage and Health Related Actions, 2011-12 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.002).

Media note:
    • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.