4430.0 - Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2012 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/11/2013   
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Contents >> Disability >> Long-term health conditions

Image: Disability, Long-term Health Conditions DISABILITY - LONG-TERM HEALTH CONDITIONS

Understanding the health of people with disability can help to inform policy in both public health and disability services.

In this survey, respondents with more than one long-term condition are asked to report the condition causing them the most problems when completing everyday activities - described here as their 'main condition'. In 2012, 81% of people with disability (3.4 million people) reported a physical condition as their main condition and 19% reported mental or behavioural disorders. Diseases of the musculo-skeletal system and connective tissue were the main physical conditions reported, which were reported by one third (33%) of people with disability. These conditions included back problems (15%) and arthritis and related disorders (14%). (Table 12)

Almost one in five people with disability (19% or 813,900 people) reported a mental or behavioural disorder as the long-term health condition causing them the most problems. This included 5.6% with intellectual and developmental disorders, 3.8% with depression and mood affective disorders and 2.1% with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. (Table 12)

The type of long-term health condition causing someone the most problems varied with age. Considering the main conditions reported across three broad age groups, for people with disability:
  • a child was most likely to have asthma (6.3%) or an intellectual and developmental disorder reported (38%)
  • those of working age were most likely to report back problems (19%), a disease of the nervous system (8.8%) or a mood affective disorder such as depression (6.0%)
  • older people were most likely to report arthritis and related disorders (21%) or a disease of the circulatory system such as heart disease, stroke or high blood pressure (13%).
Graph 3 below shows the main conditions for people with a profound or severe core activity limitation. People with a profound core activity limitation were most likely to report diseases of the musculo-skeletal system and connective tissue (e.g. arthritis and related disorders and back problems), followed by psychoses and mood affective disorders (e.g. dementia and Alzheimer's, and depression) and intellectual and developmental disorders.

Graph Image for Graph 3 - Persons with profound or severe core-activity limitation, by main long-term health condition

Source(s): ABS Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings-2012

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