Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2019) The health of Australia’s males, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 04 February 2023.
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 2023 Feb. 4]. 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 4 February 2023, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/men-women/male-health
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Tobacco smoking is the leading preventable cause of poor health and death in Australia (AIHW 2019b).
Australian men smoke daily
The main data sources reporting on tobacco smoking in Australia are:
Based on the:
Based on the NDSHS, there has been a long-term downward trend in tobacco smoking in Australia amongst males aged 14 and over, decreasing from 20.9% in 2001 to 13.8% in 2016. Younger males are starting smoking later, with the average age when a male had their first full cigarette increasing from 15.1 years in 2001 to 16.6 years in 2016 (AIHW 2017b).
In general, smoking rates among adult men (aged 18 years and over) varied by age-group, peaking during middle age and decreasing with increasing age, with rates lowest among men aged 75 and over (5.1%) (ABS 2018).
Daily smoking varied for some population groups. After adjusting for differences in age structure (ABS 2019a, AIHW 2017a):
Chart: AIHW. Source: ABS 2019a see (Table S8 for footnotes).
Excessive alcohol consumption is a major risk factor for a variety of health problems, including liver and heart conditions, and poor mental health. It also contributes to accident and injury, such as motor vehicle accidents, physical violence and homicide.
Australian men are exceeding single occasion risky drinking guidelines
The main data sources reporting on alcohol consumption in Australia are the AIHW National Drug Strategy Household Survey and the ABS National Health Survey. Although these surveys use different methodologies, they show similar results.
Based on the most recent data from the ABS NHS, in 2017–18:
Based on the NDSHS, there has been a long-term downward trend in alcohol consumption at risky levels in Australia amongst men, with the proportion of males aged 14 and over who exceeded the lifetime risk guideline decreasing from 30% in 2007 to 25% in 2016. The proportion of men drinking alcohol daily has also decreased from 12% in 2004 to 7.6% in 2016 (AIHW 2017b).
Note: Totals may not add to 100% due to rounding.
Chart: AIHW. Source: ABS 2019a (see Table S9 for footnotes).
The proportion of men exceeding the lifetime risk guideline varied by age group. According to 2017–18 data from the ABS NHS, 3 in 10 men aged 55–64 (29%) exceeded the lifetime risk guideline compared with 3 in 20 men aged 18–24 (15%) (Figure 11) (ABS 2019a).
The proportion of men who exceed the lifetime risk guideline varied for some population groups. After adjusting for differences in age structure (ABS 2013, ABS 2019a):
Chart: AIHW. Source: ABS 2019a (see Table S9 for footnotes)
The proportion of men exceeding the single occasion risk guideline varied by age group. According to 2017–18 data, men aged 18–24 were 4 times as likely to exceed the single occasion risk guideline as men 75 and over (67% and 16%, respectively) (Figure 12) (ABS 2019a).
Exceeding the single occasion guideline varied for some population groups. After adjusting for age (ABS 2019a):
Chart: AIHW. Source: ABS 2019a (see Table S8 for footnotes).
For more information, see Alcohol and Alcohol, tobacco & other drugs in Australia.
Illicit substance use includes:
Illicit use of drugs can cause death and disability and is a risk factor for many diseases. The effects of short and long-term illicit drug use can be severe and can lead to poisoning, heart damage, mental illness and other adverse outcomes (AIHW 2017b). Illicit drug use is also associated with risks to users' families and friends and to the community. It contributes to social and family disruptions, violence, and crime and community safety issues. The AIHW National Drug Strategy Household Survey reports on illicit drug use in Australia.
In 2016, around 1 in 5 (18%) of Australian males aged 14 years and over had used an illicit drug or substance in the previous 12 months (AIHW 2017b).
The pattern of illicit drug or substance use differs by age groups—around 1 in 3 men aged 20–29 (32%) had used illicit drugs or substances in the previous 12 months, compared with around 1 in 13 men aged 60 or over (7.9%).
For more information, see Alcohol, tobacco & other drugs in Australia.
ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2013. National Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey 2012–13: First results. Cat. 4727.0.55.001
ABS 2017. Personal Safety, Australia, 2016. ABS cat. no. 4906.0. Canberra: ABS
ABS 2018. National Health Survey: First results 2017–18. ABS cat. no. 4364.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS.
ABS 2019a. 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.
ABS 2019b. National Health Survey: Users’ Guide, 2017–18. ABS cat.no. 4363.0. Canberra: ABS.
ABS 2019c. National Health Survey, 2017–18. Customised report. Canberra: ABS.
AIHW 2017a. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health performance framework 2017: supplementary online tables. Cat. no. WEB 170. Canberra: AIHW.
AIHW 2017b. National Drug Strategy and Household Survey 2016: Key findings online data tables. Canberra: AIHW.
AIHW 2019a. Procedures and healthcare interventions (ACHI 10th edition), Australia, 2017–18. Cat. no. WEB 216. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed July 18 2019, <https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/hospitals/procedures-data-cubes/contents/data-cubes>
AIHW 2019b. 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.
Department of Health 2019. Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines and the Australian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines. Canberra: Department of Health.
Cole TJ, Bellizzi MC, Flegal KM & Dietz WH 2000. Establishing a standard definition for child overweight and obesity worldwide: international survey. BMJ 320:1240–3.
NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) 2013. Clinical practice guidelines for the management of overweight and obesity in adults, adolescents and children in Australia. Canberra: NHMRC.
Pederson BK and Saltin B 2015. Exercise as medicine - evidence for prescribing exercise as therapy in 26 different chronic diseases. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports 25(Suppl 3):1-72.
Safe Work Australia 2018a. Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities, Australia 2017. Safe Work Australia: Canberra.
Safe Work Australia 2018b. Australian Workers’ Compensation Statistics 2016–17. Safe Work Australia: Canberra.
WHO (World Health Organization) 2011. Waist circumference and waist-hip ration: report of a WHO expert consultation. Geneva, 8–11 December 2008.
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