Biggest ever Australian Health Survey announced today (Media Release)

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May 12, 2010
Embargo: 11.30 am (CANBERRA TIME)
Biggest ever Australian Health Survey announced today

The health of Australians will be getting its most comprehensive check-up ever, with the announcement today of the Australian Health Survey.

To be conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics under the Census and Statistics Act 1905, the survey will build on ABS’s long running health survey program.

The survey is being planned in close consultation with the Department of Health and Ageing and the National Heart Foundation of Australia, who have provided supporting funding for new components of the collection.

“This is an important survey for all Australians,” the Australian Statistician, Mr Brian Pink said, “it will be the most comprehensive health survey ever undertaken by the ABS and will be an important benchmark to help determine future health strategies.”

The survey will include new and better measures of what Australians are eating and how physically active they are. It will also collect other health information, such as whether people have been diagnosed with arthritis or heart disease.

In another first, the survey will also measure chronic disease risk factors such as cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

In support of the survey, the Heart Foundation's CEO, Dr Lyn Roberts said, “Information from this survey will help improve our understanding of cardiovascular disease, which is currently responsible for one-third of all deaths in Australia. This research has never been more important, so this survey is an investment in the future health of all Australians."

The survey will also ask people to consider a visit to a pathology centre so that information on health risks factors can be derived from blood and urine samples. This will give a more accurate picture of the number of Australians with health issues such as high cholesterol, diabetes risk or poor nutritional status.

Around 50,000 people across Australia will be asked to take part in the survey, which will start in April 2011.

For more information:
ABS Corporate Communications 1300 175 070

Media Note: Please ensure when reporting on ABS data that you attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.