Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2019) The health of Australia’s males, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 30 June 2022.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2019). The health of Australia’s males. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/men-women/male-health
The health of Australia’s males. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 10 December 2019, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/men-women/male-health
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. The health of Australia’s males [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019 [cited 2022 Jun. 30]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/men-women/male-health
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2019, The health of Australia’s males, viewed 30 June 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/men-women/male-health
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The term ‘chronic condition’ encompasses a broad range of chronic and complex health conditions across the spectrum of illness. Both communicable and non-communicable diseases can become chronic, however the monitoring of chronic conditions in developed countries focuses primarily on non-communicable disease. According to the National Strategic Framework for Chronic Conditions (Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council 2017), chronic conditions:
Chronic conditions pose significant health problems and have a range of potential impacts on individual circumstances. Chronic conditions also have a significant impact on the health sector. Data in this section focus on 10 common chronic conditions including arthritis, asthma, back problems, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, heart, stroke and vascular disease, chronic kidney disease, osteoporosis and mental health conditions.
Data from the 2017–18 National Health Survey (NHS) provide an estimate of the prevalence of a number of chronic conditions among the Australian population. This survey data is self-reported and is therefore likely to under-report the true prevalence of chronic conditions.
Australian males have 1 or more of the 10 selected chronic conditions
According to 2017–18 data, around 1 in 2 (46%) males are estimated to have one or more of the 10 selected common chronic conditions. Of these males, 28% have one, 11% have two, and 7.1% have three or more (ABS 2018a).
The self-reported prevalence of these chronic conditions varies with age (ABS 2018a):
Mental and behavioural problems
Heart, stroke and vascular disease(c)
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(d)
Chronic kidney disease
Sources: ABS 2018a, ABS 2019. See Table S10 for footnotes.
For more detailed information about chronic conditions, see Chronic conditions.
Cancer describes a diverse group of several hundred diseases in which some of the body’s cells become abnormal and begin to multiply out of control. Some cancers are easily diagnosed and treated, others are harder to diagnose and treat, and all can be fatal. Cancers are named by the type of cell involved or the location in the body where the disease begins.
The primary source of national cancer incidence data is the Australian Cancer Database — a data collection of all primary, malignant cancers diagnosed in Australia since 1982.
estimated new cases of prostate cancer, the most common cancer among males, will be diagnosed in 2020
In 2020, it is estimated males will account for more than half (54%) of all new cancer cases (79,421 cases). The risk for Australian males of being diagnosed with cancer before their 85th birthday is 1 in 2. The most common cancer diagnosis in males is prostate cancer, followed by colorectal cancer, melanoma of the skin, and lung cancer (AIHW 2018).
The most common cancer diagnosis in males varies by age. For example, in 2019, leukaemia and testicular cancer were the most common cancers in males aged under 35 and melanoma of the skin, prostate cancer and colorectal cancer were the most common cancers in men aged over 35 (AIHW 2018).
Chart: AIHW. Source: AIHW 2018 see (Table S11 for footnotes).
The World Health Organization defines mental health as ‘a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.’ Poor mental health may adversely affect any or all of these areas and has consequences for an individual, their family and society. Mental and substance use disorders are among the leading causes of disease burden for Australian men (AIHW 2019a).
Australian males have experienced a mental health problem in their lifetime
The most recent comprehensive national survey, the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, indicated that more than 2 in 5 (43%) females aged 16–85 had experienced a mental disorder in their lifetime (ABS 2008). The ABS has plans to begin conducting the Intergenerational Health & Mental Health Study from 2020.
More recently, the 2017–18 National Health Survey (NHS) collected data on self-reported mental health issues in Australia. The NHS showed that (ABS 2018a):
Other sources of administrative data show that, in 2017–18, more than 1.6 million Australian males (14%) received a mental health-related prescription in 2017–18 (AIHW 2019d).
The 2010 Survey of High Impact Psychosis estimated that the 12 month prevalence of males aged 18–64 with an psychotic disorder in contact with public specialised mental health services in Australia was 38,859 (5.4 cases per 1,000 persons) (Morgan et al. 2011).
The 2013–14 Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing indicated that just under 1 in 5 (16.3%) boys aged 4–17 had experienced a mental disorder in the previous 12 months (Lawrence et al. 2015).
For more information of the mental health of Australians, see Mental health services.
ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2008. National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007. ABS cat. no. 4326.0. Canberra: ABS.
ABS 2018a. National Health Survey: First results 2017–18. ABS cat. no. 4364.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS.
ABS 2018b. Life Tables for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2015–2017. ABS cat. no. 3302.0.55.003. Canberra: ABS.
ABS 2019. Microdata: National Health Survey, 2017-18, detailed microdata, DataLab. ABS cat no. 4324.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS. Findings based on AIHW analysis of ABS microdata.
Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council 2017. National Strategic Framework for Chronic Conditions. Canberra: Australian Government.
AIHW 2018. Cancer Data in Australia. Canberra: AIHW.
AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) 2019a. Australian Burden of Disease Study: impact and causes of illness and death in Australia 2015. Australian Burden of Disease series no.19. Cat. no. BOD 22. Canberra: AIHW.
AIHW 2019b. Deaths in Australia. Cat. no. PHE 229. Canberra: AIHW.
AIHW 2019c. Mortality Over Regions and Time (MORT) books. Cat. no. PHE 229. Canberra: AIHW.
AIHW 2019d. Mental health services in Australia: in brief 2019. Cat.no. HSE 228. Canberra: AIHW.
Kirby Institute 2018. HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia: annual Surveillance report 2018. Sydney: Kirby Institute.
Lawrence D, Johnson S, Hafekost J, Boterhoven De Haan K, Sawyer M, Ainley J, Zubrick SR (2015) The Mental Health of Children and Adolescents. Report on the second Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Department of Health, Canberra
Morgan VA, Waterreus A, Jablensky A, Mackinnon A, McGrath JJ, Carr V et. al 2011. People living with psychotic illness 2010. Report on the second Australian national survey. Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing: Canberra.
OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) 2019. Life expectancy at birth (indicator). doi: 10.1787/27e0fc9d-en. Viewed 4 September 2019.
Schlichthorst M, Sanci LA and Hocking JS 2016. Health and lifestyle factors associated with sexual difficulties in men – results from a study of Australian men aged 18 to 55 years. BMC Public Health, 16:3, 1043.
WHO 2019a. Sexual and reproductive health: defining sexual health. Geneva: WHO. Viewed 11 July 2019.
WHO 2019b. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs): Key facts. Geneva: WHO. Viewed 25 March 2019
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