Reports

Featured reports

Evidence for chronic disease risk factors 

This report presents a conceptual framework of the pathways involved in the health of individuals and the population; known as determinants of health. It expands on the concept of risk factors and presents a matrix showing the relationship between selected chronic diseases and their known behavioural and biomedical risk factors.

Impact of overweight and obesity as a risk factor for chronic conditions 

This report updates and extends estimates of the burden due to overweight and obesity reported in the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011 to include burden in people aged under 25, revised diseases linked to overweight and obesity based on the latest evidence, and estimates by socioeconomic group. The report includes scenario modelling, undertaken to assess the potential impact on future health burden if overweight and obesity in the population continues to rise or is reduced. The enhanced analysis in the report shows that 7.0% of the total health burden in Australia in 2011 is due to overweight and obesity, and that this burden increased with increasing level of socioeconomic disadvantage.

Impact of physical inactivity as a risk factor for chronic conditions: Australian Burden of Disease  

This report details the impact of physical inactivity on disease burden in the Australian population. Results from this study suggest that prevention and intervention efforts may best be focused on sustained population-level increases in physical activity, by as little as 15 minutes each day, to avoid associated disease burden. It also highlights that health inequalities exist, with lower socioeconomic groups experiencing larger rates of disease burden due to physical inactivity.

Risk factors to health 

Health risk factors are attributes, characteristics or exposures that increase the likelihood of a person developing a disease or health disorder. Behavioural risk factors are those that individuals have the most ability to modify. Biomedical risk factors are bodily states that are often influenced by behavioural risk factors.

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.

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

This report presents findings from the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011 on the burden of musculoskeletal conditions in Australia. Musculoskeletal conditions were the fourth leading contributor to total burden of disease in Australia, with back pain and problems, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis being the greatest contributors to the musculoskeletal burden. The burden due to musculoskeletal 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 overweight and obesity.

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.

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.

Back problems 

Back problems are a range of conditions related to the bones, joints, connective tissue, muscles and nerves of the back. Back problems are a significant cause of disability and lost productivity.

Gout 

Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that develops when an excess of uric acid in the blood leads to deposits of uric acid crystals in one or more joints, causing inflammation.

Juvenile arthritis 

Juvenile arthritis includes several different kinds of arthritis occurring in children, causing significant pain, disability and restrictions in school and other activities. Juvenile arthritis affects less than 1% of children and is more common in girls than boys.

Osteoarthritis 

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that mostly affects the hands, spine and joints such as hips, knees and ankles, and usually gets worse over time. It is the predominant condition leading to knee and hip replacement surgery in Australia.

Osteoporosis 

Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become thin, weak and fragile, such that even a minor bump or accident can cause a broken bone (minimal trauma fracture). Osteopenia is a condition when bone mineral density is lower than normal but not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis.

Rheumatoid arthritis 

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect anyone at any age, and may cause significant pain and disability.

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.

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.

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.

Impacts of chronic back problems 

Chronic back problems are common conditions in Australia (16% of the total population) and cause of disability (28% of the total population with disability) in Australia. Chronic back problems can have a strong negative effect on a person’s quality of life, affecting their ability to participate in daily activities, work, family and social activities. This bulletin provides the latest detailed information on the impacts (in terms of quality of life and disability) of chronic back problems in Australia.

Musculoskeletal conditions as underlying and associated causes of death 2013 

Musculoskeletal conditions are responsible for a substantial proportion of the non-fatal burden of disease in Australia. This bulletin describes the contribution of musculoskeletal conditions to mortality. Although musculoskeletal conditions were not among the leading underlying causes of death, this bulletin shows that these conditions were likely to have contributed to about 1 in 20 deaths in Australia in 2013.

Australian Burden of Disease Study: impact and causes of illness and death in Australia 2011 

This report analyses the impact of nearly 200 diseases and injuries in terms of living with illness (non-fatal burden) and premature death (fatal burden). The study found that chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, mental and substance use disorders, and musculoskeletal conditions, along with injury contributed the most burden in Australia in 2011. Almost one third of the overall disease burden could be prevented by removing exposure to risk factors such as tobacco use, high body mass, alcohol use, physical inactivity and high blood pressure.

Arthritis & its comorbidities 

People with arthritis often have other chronic diseases and long-term conditions. These are referred to as ‘comorbidities’—two or more health problems occurring concurrently. In this context, ‘arthritis’ includes osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other arthritic conditions. The other chronic conditions selected for this analysis occur frequently in the population.

Chronic kidney disease: regional variation in Australia 

Chronic kidney disease is a common and serious problem in Australia and its management can be resource intensive, particularly for the most severe form of the disease: end-stage kidney disease. Rates of chronic kidney disease vary by geographic location. This report shows: - people from Remote and very remote areas were 2.2 times more likely to die from chronic kidney disease than people from Major cities. - people from Very remote areas were at least 4 times more likely to start kidney replacement therapy (dialysis or kidney transplant) than people from non-remote areas.