Featured reports

Mortality inequalities in Australia 2009–11 

Despite relatively high standards of health and health care in Australia, not all Australians fare equally well in terms of their health and longevity. Substantial mortality inequalities exist in the Australian population, in terms of overall mortality, and for most leading causes of death, and these inequalities are long-standing.

Latest reports

Alcohol, tobacco & other drugs in Australia 

The consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs is a major cause of preventable disease and illness in Australia. This report consolidates the most recently available information on alcohol, tobacco and other drug use in Australia, including key trends in the availability, consumption, harms and treatment for vulnerable populations. Further, information on a range of health, social and economic impacts of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use are highlighted.

An interactive insight into overweight and obesity in Australia 

Overweight and obesity is a major public health issue and among the leading risk factors to ill-health in Australia. This web report provides interactive data displays on the prevalence of overweight and obesity, differences in the prevalence between certain population groups and what is happening over time.

The data displays draw on data from 2 AIHW reports: A picture of overweight and obesity in Australia and Overweight and obesity in Australia: a birth cohort analysis.

Cultural and linguistic diversity measures in aged care 

Accurate and consistent identification of those from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, along with their service needs, is important to achieving the objectives of the National Ageing and Aged Care Strategy for People from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Backgrounds. This paper presents findings from an evaluation of CALD measures identified in 43 data sets and assessment instruments, and recommendations for implementing the ‘top-10’measures in aged care data sets.

Child social exclusion and health outcomes: a study of small areas across Australia 

This bulletin examines the association between the risk of child social exclusion and children’s health outcomes in Australia at the small-area level. The results show that Australian children living in areas with a relatively high risk of social exclusion also experience relatively poor health outcomes. As the risk of child social exclusion increases, so do the rates of both potentially preventable hospitalisations and avoidable deaths.

What works? A review of actions addressing the social and economic determinants of Indigenous health 

The purpose of this paper is to review evidence relating to 'what works' to influence the social and economic determinants of Indigenous health, in order to reduce health inequities, and ultimately contribute to closing the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. It outlines a conceptual framework for understanding how social and economic determinants influence health and wellbeing, and identifies a number of key determinants of health.

Social distribution of health risks and health outcomes: preliminary analysis of the National Health Survey 2007-08 

Where people are born, grow, live, work and age affects their health status. This paper explores the association between selected social and health risk factors on Australians' health. It shows that people with higher household incomes and higher education qualifications are more likely to report better health and less likely to report smoking, and people living outside major cities are more likely to report being an unhealthy weight.

The health of Australia's males: a focus on five population groups 

This report is the second in a series on the health of Australia's males. It examines the distinct health profiles of five population groups, characterised by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, remoteness, socioeconomic disadvantage, region of birth, and age. Findings include: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males generally experience poorer health than the overall population, with higher rates of chronic diseases such as lung cancer, diabetes and kidney disease; Socioeconomic disadvantage is frequently related to poorer health status among males, with rates of rates of obesity and tobacco smoking higher among males from more disadvantaged areas.

Population differences in health-care use for arthritis and osteoporosis in Australia 

This report presents differences in health-care use for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis between population groups. The report suggests that, among those with osteoarthritis or osteoporosis, females are more likely to take actions to manage their condition and have a lower rate of joint replacement than males. The report also suggests that complimentary medicines that may slow the progression of these conditions are used at a lower rate in the lowest socioeconomic group compared to the highest socioeconomic group.

Social determinants of oral health: conditions linked to socioeconomic inequalities in oral health in the Australian population 

If we could grade the social conditions of society from excellent to poor we would find that population oral health status followed precisely the same gradient. Where social conditions are excellent, oral health status tends also to be excellent. Where social conditions are poor, oral health likewise is poor. This is so because the oral health of populations is socially determined. 'Social determinants of oral health: conditions linked to socioeconomic inequalities in oral health in the Australian population' illustrates the social distribution of oral health status in the Australian adult population. It draws links between material, psychosocial and behavioural factors with oral health status. Among adults in the labour force it highlights links between socially produced work conditions and oral health status. It looks back in time to social and psychosocial conditions of childhood and links those experiences with contemporaneous outcomes in adulthood. This thought-provoking publication leaves one wondering to what extent society should help people cope with the social conditions of their lives and to what extent those social conditions themselves should be addressed to improve oral health.

Fall-related hospitalisations among older people: sociocultural and regional aspects 

The ageing of the Australian population has enlarged the population at high risk of fall-related injury and population projections imply substantial increase in years to come. A large proportion of Australia's older population were born overseas and changing migration patterns following the Second World War have resulted in an older population which is becoming highly culturally and linguistically diverse. This report examines fall-related hospitalisations for people aged 65 and older for the years 2000-03 according to country of birth and place of usual residence.

Socioeconomic inequalities in cardiovascular disease in Australia 

It has been well established in Australia that people who are socioeconomically disadvantaged experience higher rates of cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality than other Australians. Further, there is evidence that the differential has widened, with relative CVD mortality inequality between Australians from the most disadvantaged areas and those from the least disadvantaged areas being higher in recent years than it was in the mid-1980s. A similar trend of widening socioeconomic inequalities in CVD mortality has also been observed in other OECD countries.This bulletin examines inequalities in CVD mortality over the 10-year period from 1992 to 2002 and hospitalisations over the period 1996-97 to 2003-04 for people aged 25-74 years to try to answer key questions in relation to mortality and significant morbidity requiring hospitalisation.

Health inequalities in Australia: morbidity, health behaviours, risk factors and health service use 

The health of the Australian population improved markedly during the twentieth century. Despite these improvements, Australia at the beginning of the twenty-first century is characterised by significant health inequalities. 'Health inequalities in Australia: morbidity, health behaviours, risk factors and health service use' is a statistical reference that documents morbidity and morbidity-related inequalities by area-level socioeconomic disadvantage, equivalised household income, education and occupation among infants and children, young adults, working-aged adults and older persons for the periods 1989-90, 1995 and 2001. This report is the second in a series that focuses on different aspects of health inequalities in Australia. Other reports in the series examine health inequalities in mortality, and the measurement of socioeconomic position in population health.

Australian health inequalities 2: trends in male mortality by broad occupational group 

Although the overall health status of Australians compares favourably with other developed countries, health status within the Australia population varies between different population groups. Illness and death have been shown to occur at higher rates among socioeconomically disadvantaged people, such as those with lower incomes or lower education, or who are unemployed. Health may also vary according to sex region of residence or country of birth.This bulletin examines and compares long-term mortality trends among Australian males in two broad occupational groups that reflect socioeconomic status, namely 'manual' and 'non-manual' workers.

Health inequalities in Australia, mortality 

Despite improvements in the health of Australians over the last century, large mortality inequalities continue to exist between population sub-groups. This report is a statistical reference source that documents mortality inequalities by sex, geographic region, area socioeconomic disadvantage, occupation and country of birth. The report examines the nature and extent of mortality inequalities among infants and children, young adults, working aged adults and older persons during 1998-2000, and where possible, for the period 1985-1987 to 1998-2000.

Cancer survival in Australia 1992-1997: geographic categories and socioeconomic status 

Cancer Survival in Australia 1992-1997 is the first national analysis of how cancer survival varies by socioeconomic status and geographic region. It presents an analysis of five-year relative survival proportions by geographic category and socioeconomic status for persons diagnosed with cancer during the years 1992-1997.This analysis is presented by age and sex for all cancers (Excluding non-melanocytic skin cancers) combined and for the following National Health Priority Area cancers - colorectal cancer, cancer of the lung, melanoma, cancer of the breast (females only), cancer of the cervix, cancer of the prostate, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.This report is the third in a series of three reports on relative survival after being diagnosed with cancer. It is an important reference for all those interested in the health of Australians.

Social determinants of oral health 

A nationally representative sample of 3,678 dentate adults was drawn from interviewees in the computer-assisted National Dental Telephone Interview Survey in 1999 and the follow-up mail survey. Three social determinants (personal control, perceived stress, and social support) were investigated for their role in shaping dental behaviour and for advancing the understanding of oral health differences among socioeconomic groups.

Australian health inequalities: birthplace 

Persons born overseas generally enjoy better health than Australia-born persons do, if gauged by such measures as mortality and hospitalisations rates and the prevalence of lifestyle-related health risk factors. These inequalities are largely explained by the 'healthy migrant effect', which ensures that, for the most part, only those migrants in good health migrate to Australia. Inequalities in health status by birthplace, and changes in health advantage among migrants after arrival in Australia, provide insight into the effect of lifestyle-related health risk factors on health outcomes. They might also guide health professionals in targeting education, screening and other health interventions.