Indicator 1.3 Waist circumference
Based on measured data from the 2017–18 National Health Survey (NHS), an estimated 63% of Australian adults had a waist circumference that put them at an increased risk of chronic disease, including type 2 diabetes (94cm or more for men and 80cm or more for women).
The age-standardised proportion of people with an at-risk waist circumference has remained steady since 2011–12 (Figure 1.3.1).
Age and sex
Women were more likely to have a waist circumference that put them at increased risk of chronic disease than men, after adjusting for age (65% compared with 59%).
The proportion of men and women with an at-risk waist circumference generally increased with age, with 81% of men aged 65–74 and 84% of women aged 75 and over (Figure 1.3.1).
The proportion of people with an at-risk waist circumference was higher among those living in the lowest socioeconomic areas compared to those in the highest socioeconomic areas (67% and 55% respectively). Further, the proportion of people at risk increased with remoteness from 61% of people living in Major cities to 65% both for people living in Inner regional and Outer regional and remote areas (Figure 1.3.2).
State and Territory
After adjusting for age, the proportion of Australian adults with an at-risk waist circumference ranged from 61% to 65% among the states and territories in 2017–18 (Figure 1.3.2).
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
In 2018–19, 71% of Indigenous adults had a waist circumference that increased their risk of chronic disease, based on data from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS). In this cohort, the age-standardised proportion of Indigenous women was significantly higher than Indigenous men (84% and 65%, respectively) (Figure 1.3.2).
Based on estimates from the NATSIHS and NHS, the age-standardised proportion of Indigenous adults with an at-risk waist circumference was significantly higher compared to non-Indigenous adults (75% compared with 62%, respectively) (Figure 1.3.2).
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1.3 Waist circumference—proportion of adults with increased risk of developing a chronic disease, by age group, 2007–08 to 2017–18 and by selected population group, 2017–18