abnormal blood lipid levels: Abnormal levels of fats in the blood, such as cholesterol or triglyceridesbiomedical risk factors: Bodily states than can contribute to the development of chronic disease.
abstainer (alcohol): A person who has not consumed a full serve of alcohol in the previous 12 months.
age-specific rate: A rate for a specific age group. The numerator and denominator relate to the same age group.
age standardisation: A way to remove the influence of age when comparing populations with different age structures. This is usually necessary because the rates of many diseases vary strongly (usually increasing) with age. The age structures of the different populations are converted to the same ‘standard’ structure, and then the disease rates that would have occurred with that structure are calculated and compared.
blood pressure: The force exerted by the blood on the walls of the arteries as it is pumped around the body by the heart. It is written, for example, as 134/70 mmHg, where the upper number is the systolic pressure (the maximum force against the arteries as the heart muscle contracts to pump the blood out) and the lower number is the diastolic pressure (the minimum force against the arteries as the heart relaxes and fills again with blood). Levels of blood pressure can vary greatly from person to person and from moment to moment in the same person. See also high blood pressure/hypertension.
body mass index: The most commonly used method of assessing whether a person is normal weight, underweight, overweight or obese. It is calculated by dividing the person's weight (in kilograms) by their height (in metres) squared; that is, kg ÷ m2. For both men and women, underweight is a BMI below 18.5, acceptable weight is from 18.5 to less than 25, overweight is from 25 to less than 30, and obese is 30 and over. Sometimes overweight and obese is combined, and is defined as a BMI of 25 and over.
cholesterol: Fatty substance produced by the liver and carried by the blood to supply the rest of the body. Its natural function is to supply material for cell walls and for steroid hormones, but if levels in the blood become too high this can lead to atherosclerosis and heart disease.
chronic diseases: A diverse group of diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis, which tend to be long-lasting and persistent in their symptoms or development. Although these features also apply to some communicable diseases (infectious diseases), the term is usually confined to non-communicable diseases.
current smoker: Reported smoking daily, weekly or less than weekly at the time of the survey.
confidence interval: A range determined by variability in data, within which there is a specified (usually 95%) chance that the true value of a calculated parameter lies.
determinant: Any factor that can increase the chances of ill health (risk factors) or good health (protective factors) in a population or individual. By convention, services or other programs that aim to improve health are usually not included in this definition.
dyslipidaemia: Abnormal levels of fats, such as cholesterol or triglycerides, in the blood.
ever-smoker: A person who has smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime.
ex-smoker: A person who has smoked at least 100 cigarettes or equivalent tobacco in his or her lifetime, but does not smoke at all now.
high blood cholesterol: Total cholesterol levels above 5.5 mmol/L.
high blood pressure/hypertension: The definition of high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) can vary but a well-accepted one is from the World Health Organization: a systolic blood pressure of 140 mmHg or more or a diastolic blood pressure of 90 mmHg or more, or [the person is] receiving medication for high blood pressure.
hypertension: See high blood pressure.
impaired glucose tolerance: Condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but less than required for a diagnosis of diabetes, and which signals an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage (IRSD): One of the set of
Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas for ranking the average socioeconomic conditions of the population in an area. It summarises attributes of the population such as low income, low educational attainment, high unemployment and jobs in relatively unskilled occupations.
lipids: Fatty substances, including cholesterol and triglycerides, that are in blood and body tissues.
lifetime risk (alcohol): The accumulated risk from drinking either on many drinking occasions, or on a regular (for example, daily) basis over a lifetime. The lifetime risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury increases with the amount consumed. For healthy men and women, drinking no more than 2 standard drinks on any day reduces the lifetime risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury.
never smoker: A person who does not smoke now and has smoked fewer than 100 cigarettes or the equivalent tobacco in his or her lifetime.
non-smoker: Never smoked or an ex-smoker.
nutrition: The intake of food, considered in relation to the body’s dietary needs.
obesity: Marked degree of overweight, defined for population studies as a body mass index of 30 or over.
overweight: Defined for the purpose of population studies as a body mass index of 25 or over.
overweight but not obese: Defined for the purpose of population studies as a body
mass index between 25 and less than 30.
protective factors: Factors that enhance the likelihood of positive outcomes and lessen
the chance of negative consequences from exposure to risk.
remoteness classification: Each state and territory is divided into several regions based on their relative accessibility to goods and services (such as to general practitioners, hospitals and specialist care) as measured by road distance. These regions are based on the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia and defined as Remoteness Areas by either the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) (before 2011) or the Australian Statistical Geographical Standard (ASGS) (from 2011 onwards) in each Census year. The five Remoteness Areas are Major cities, Inner regional, Outer regional, Remote and Very remote. See also rural.
risk factor: Any factor that represents a greater risk of a health disorder or other unwanted condition or event. Some risk factors are regarded as causes of disease; others are not necessarily so. Along with their opposites (protective factors), risk factors are known as determinants.
saturated fats: Fats, most often of animal origin, that are solid at room temperature and whose fatty acid chains cannot incorporate additional hydrogen atoms. In excess, they tend to raise blood cholesterol.
Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA): A set of indexes, created from Census data, that aim to represent the socioeconomic position of Australian communities and identify areas of advantage and disadvantage. The index value reflects the overall or average level of disadvantage of the population of an area; it does not show how individuals living in the same area differ from each other in their socioeconomic group. This report uses the
Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage.
standard drink (alcohol): A serve that contains 10 grams of alcohol (equivalent to
12.5 millilitres of alcohol). It is also referred to as a full serve.
statistical significance: A statistical measure indicating how likely the observed difference or association is due to chance alone. Rate differences are deemed to be statistically significant when their confidence intervals do not overlap, since their difference is greater than what could be explained by chance.
triglyceride: A compound made up of a single molecule of glycerol and three molecules of fatty acid. Triglycerides are the main constituents of natural fats and oils.
underweight: A category defined for population studies as a body mass index less than 18.5.