AIHW Board AIHW senior staff Annual report Capability statement Collaboration AIHW corporate plan 2016–17 to 2019–20 Customer care charter FOI - freedom of information Indexed list of files Organisation chart Presentations Privacy of data Public consultation Public Interest Disclosure Tenders
By category Ageing, disability & carers Families & children Hospitals Housing & homelessness Indigenous Australians Population groups Risk factors, diseases & death Services, workforce & spending
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular disease Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases
Chronic kidney disease Chronic respiratory conditions COPD Deaths Dementia Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition Health indicators Health performance Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Injury Life expectancy
Male health Mental health Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Primary health care Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Data Publications Contact AIHW
Publications CatalogueOrdering publicationsForthcoming publications Online reports Rate our publication effectivenessSubscribe to release notices
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs AIHW annual reports Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular disease Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases Chronic kidney disease
Chronic respiratory conditions Corporate publications Data linkage Data standards Deaths Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition General practice Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Indigenous housing
Injury Life expectancy Male health Mental health services Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Primary health carePrisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Subjects Data Contact AIHW
About AIHW data METeOR—metadata online registry Data by subject Catalogue of holdings of AIHW data Customised data analysis request Data governance framework Data linking Data standards GovHack Privacy of data Accessing Australian Government health and welfare data
By subjectAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework Adoptions Aged care Alcohol and other drugs Alcohol data sources Body weight data sources Cancer Children's headline indicators (CHI) Child protection Chronic disease indicators Data sources for monitoring health conditionsDeaths Disability
Expenditure FHBH - Fixing houses for better health General Record of Incidence of Mortality (GRIM) books Height and weight data sources Hospitals Indigenous Australians International collaboration Maternity Information Matrix (MIM) Medical indemnity Mental health Mortality Over Regions and Time (MORT) books National Aged Care Data Clearinghouse
National core maternity indicators (NCMI) National framework for protecting Australia’s children (NFPAC) National indicator catalogue National Youth Information Framework (NYIF) Perinatal data Primary Health Network (PHN) Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) Tobacco data sources Workforce
In other sections Subjects Publications Contact AIHW
AACR ACFADD AHSAC AIHW Board AIHW Ethics Committee AODTS NMDS WG CKDMAC CMAG CVDMAC HEAC
IGIHM JJ RIG MHISSC NAGATSIHID NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG NMDD
NMDS NMHPSC NOPSAD NPDDC NPHEP NPHIC PCDWG PDWG PHIDG PHIG REDWG Workforce committees
Education worksheets Infographics What's in the pipeline Subscribe to education notices Other educational links
Resources by subject All Latest Ageing Australia's health Australia's welfare Carers
Children & youth Disability Disease Drugs
Health Health prevention Indigenous Australians Injury
In other sections Subjects Data Publications Contact AIHW
Job vacancies How to apply for a position at the AIHW Conditions of employment Benefits of working for the AIHW Temporary employment register Occupational Training Program Contact the People Unit Graduates
AIHW Access magazine Media releases Subscribe to release notices Embargoed access to AIHW material Media contacts
You are here:
Australia has much to be proud of in many areas of health, but lifestyle-related chronic diseases are taking an increasing toll-and so is the bill, according to the latest 2-yearly national health report card from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The Institute's report, Australia's health 2014, was released in Canberra today by federal Health Minister Peter Dutton.
AIHW Director and CEO David Kalisch said, 'On the positive side our report shows that we have increasingly longer life expectancy, lower death rates for cancer and many other diseases, and a health system that people say they are mostly happy with.
'On the "room for improvement" side, we see that Australians are increasingly living with ongoing or "chronic" diseases and their risk factors-which are related to our ageing population as well as to lifestyles and health habits.
'Chronic diseases are the leading cause of illness, disability and death in Australia, accounting for 90% of all deaths in 2011.
'Chronic diseases have often been called "Australia's greatest health challenge" - and while not solely related to behavioural factors in all cases, can be heavily linked to smoking, physical inactivity, poor nutrition and the harmful use of alcohol. This can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, which in turn can lead to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and mental health issues.'
Mr Kalisch said that, in Australia, as was happening in many developed nations, the costs of health care kept rising.
'They have risen faster than inflation and the economy as a whole for many years, and in recent years have outpaced government revenues from taxation and other sources.
'We find that health spending is taking up a greater proportion of government revenue than it used to-26% in 2011-12, or 6 percentage points higher than before the Global Financial Crisis.'
Life expectancy, the 'universal health indicator', places Australia among the top nations in the world-sixth for men and seventh for women-but very close to the first-placed nations in 2011 (Iceland for males, Japan for females).We are living 25 years longer on average than a century ago, so that a boy born today can expect to live to 79.9 years, and a girl to 84.
'An extra piece of good news is that almost all of the extra 4 years gained since the late 1990s have been disability-free years,' Mr Kalisch said.
Most Australians also rate themselves highly in the health stakes. In 2011-12, 85% of people aged 15 and over considered themselves to be in good to excellent health. This perception did not reduce much with age, with an estimated 67%-76% of people aged 65 and over considering themselves to have good to excellent health.
Other positive news includes:
'In addition to our successes we also have health worries,' Mr Kalisch said. 'The rise of chronic diseases is the most pervasive.
'We know that across all ages, changes in health behaviours can reduce the impact of chronic diseases-the World Health Organization estimates that, worldwide, up to 80% of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, and up to one-third of cancers, could be prevented by eliminating smoking, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and the harmful use of alcohol.
'Although daily smoking rates are low by world standards, at 16% for adults, in some areas of Australia (principally high socioeconomic status areas) the rate is 10%, meaning that further improvements are possible,' Mr Kalisch said.
In Australia over 3 in 5 adults (63%) are overweight or obese. Nearly 3 in 5 (57%) do not exercise enough for good health, and in 2011-12 only 8% of adults were eating enough vegetables and 49% were eating enough fruit for optimum nutrition.
Among young adults, between 2007 and 2010 almost 1 in 2 were at risk from harm (drinking 4 standard drinks or more) from a single drinking occasion at least monthly.
Australia's health 2014 highlights health issues at various life stages, with findings such as:
Indigenous health improvements in recent years have included lower death rates from circulatory and respiratory diseases, falling infant mortality rates and reductions in smoking. But Indigenous Australians have 7 times the rate of end-stage kidney disease compared to non-Indigenous Australians, 3.3 times the rate of diabetes, 3 times the hospitalisation rates for respiratory conditions, 1.5 times the cancer death rate, and 1.5 times the obesity rate.
Mr Kalisch said there was potential to improve national health data to better understand chronic diseases, factors affecting life expectancy, the health effects of major life events, and the efficiency and effectiveness of health services.
Canberra, 25 June 2014
Further information: Jess Grandin, AIHW, 02 6249 5033; 0401 769 793 or Belinda Hellyer, AIHW, 02 6244 1026; 0401 658 465
Full publication: Australia's health 2014 and Australia's health 2014: in brief