Good health is important – it influences not just how we feel, but also how we go about our everyday lives. Health can mean different things to different people but is widely accepted to be much more than the presence or absence of disease.

Health incorporates our physical, mental and social wellbeing, and is influenced by many determinants such as our: health behaviours, physical environment, social connections, biomedical factors, cultural background, commercial and digital environments, socioeconomic circumstances, access to timely and quality health care programs and services, and genetics.

How has COVID‑19 affected our health?

Chapter two discusses how COVID‑19 is continuing to affect the health and wellbeing of Australians. While people who contract COVID‑19 now are less likely to be hospitalised or die than at the start of the pandemic, the large number of cases that have occurred to date in 2022 produced a much larger number of hospitalisations and deaths than in the first 2 years.

Since the start of the pandemic until 30 April 2022, Australia had reported:

nearly 6 million confirmed cases of COVID‑19

more than 7,000 COVID‑19 related deaths

What are the main causes of death?

Over the last century, death rates have continuously declined but the leading – or main – causes of death have changed: generally, deaths from infectious diseases have decreased, while deaths from chronic conditions, such as cancers and dementia, have increased.

For example in 2020, the leading causes of death among males and females were:

figure 3 part 1

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For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 visit Department of Health.