Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) conducting largest survey of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has commenced the largest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health survey to improve knowledge of the health issues affecting Indigenous Australians. This survey will expand on the 2004-05 survey by increasing the number of participants by 30%, and collecting new information on exercise, diet (including bush foods), and measures of cholesterol, blood glucose and iron.

For the first time, the ABS will directly measure obesity and blood pressure levels, as well as nutritional status and chronic disease. By combining self-reported information together with biomedical samples, a more complete picture of the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will be available. Importantly this will provide some information about the level of undiagnosed conditions, such as diabetes.

While the biomedical component of the survey is voluntary, ABS survey champion, Cathy Freeman, encourages people to get involved as, 'You will be helping your family, your community, and future generations to live longer, healthier lives'.

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