Reports

Featured reports

Asthma 

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways. People with asthma experience episodes of wheezing, breathlessness and chest tightness due to widespread narrowing of the airways.

The burden of chronic respiratory conditions in Australia: a detailed analysis of the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011 

This report presents information on the disease burden of chronic respiratory conditions using data from the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011. Respiratory conditions were the sixth leading contributor to total burden of disease in Australia, with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and upper respiratory conditions being the greatest contributors to the respiratory burden. The burden due to respiratory conditions generally decreased over time, varied by condition severity and by population group, and some of the burden was attributed to modifiable risk factors such as tobacco use.

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) 

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) limits airflow in the lungs, which can lead to mild or severe shortness of breath that is not fully reversible even with treatment. COPD is a serious long-term disease that mainly affects older people, and includes conditions such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Allergic rhinitis ('hay fever') 

Allergic rhinitis can occur seasonally (commonly referred to as 'hay fever') or throughout the year. Allergic rhinitis is triggered by an allergic reaction. The symptoms may include a runny or blocked nose and/or sneezing and watery eyes. Common triggers include house dust, animal fur, pollens, fungal spores, air pollutants and occupational triggers such as latex, breads and cereals or small animals.

The use of lung function testing for the diagnosis and management of chronic airways disease 

This demonstration data linkage study investigates the use of lung function testing in the diagnosis and management of chronic airways disease. It uses data from the 45 and Up Study linked to Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) data. The study shows that: - contrary to recommended guidelines, most study participants (82%) initiated on medications for managing their chronic airways disease did not have lung function testing performed within 12 months, either before or after their initial prescription - among respondents who reported having current asthma, lung function testing was only claimed for about one-quarter (26%) in a recent 3-year period and 12% had only 1 lung function test claim during that time. The evidence from this study will inform initiatives to help improve appropriate prescribing and health outcomes for people with chronic airways disease. This project also provides a demonstration of methods that could also potentially be used to fill evidence gaps associated with other chronic diseases such as diabetes, arthritis and cancer.

Asthma, associated comorbidities and risk factors 

People with asthma often have other chronic diseases and long-term conditions. These are referred to as 'comorbidities'—two or more health problems that are present at the same time. Comorbidities are typically more common in older age groups.

COPD, associated comorbidities and risk factors 

People with COPD often have other chronic diseases and long-term conditions. These are referred to as 'comorbidities'—two or more health problems that are present at the same time. Comorbidities are typically more common in older age groups.

Respiratory medication use in Australia 2003–2013: treatment of asthma and COPD 

This report describes patterns of dispensing of respiratory medications in Australia through detailed analyses of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) data, as well as other sources, to draw inferences about respiratory medication use among patients with asthma and COPD. It provides a valuable update and new information about the use of medicines for asthma and COPD, thus improving our knowledge and understanding about how these diseases are managed in Australia.

Mortality from asthma and COPD in Australia 

Asthma death rates in Australia are high compared with many other countries and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of deaths in Australia and internationally. This report provides current information about mortality due to these conditions in Australia, examining trends over time, seasonal variation, international comparison and variation by age, sex, remoteness, Indigenous status, country of birth and socioeconomic disadvantage.

Coronary heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Indigenous Australians 

The pattern of coronary heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Indigenous Australians differs to that in non-Indigenous Australians. This paper shows that Indigenous Australians have higher hospitalisation and death rates for these conditions than non-Indigenous Australians, and are more likely to die from these conditions at younger ages. However there are some encouraging trends seen in the Indigenous population, such as declining death rates from coronary heart disease, improved chronic disease management and declining smoking rates.

Monitoring pulmonary rehabilitation and long-term oxygen therapy for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major cause of death and disability in Australia. While pulmonary rehabilitation and long term oxygen therapy are recommended treatments for COPD, there is currently no national information about the supply and use of these therapies. This report outlines a proposed approach to monitoring access to, and utilisation of, these therapies, by capitalising on existing data sources and identifying data development opportunities.