Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health survey: first results, 2012-13. (ABS)

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health survey: first results, Australia, 2012-13. The survey focuses on long-term health conditions,health risk factors, selected social and emotional wellbeing indicators, health measurements and health-related actions, and includes Indigenous people living in both remote and non-remote areas.

The survey expands on the information collected in previous Indigenous health surveys conducted by the ABS, and includes:

*estimates of the prevalence of certain chronic diseases, conditions, and selected behavioural risk factors (including physical activity)
*objective measures of selected chronic diseases, nutrition status and other risk factors which can be combined with self-reported data about health status and conditions (e.g. diabetes)
*health risk factors and outcomes for different population groups of interest, such as different age-groups and people living in remote and non-remote areas.

Some of the key findings of the survey include:

* after age-adjustment, Indigenous people aged 15 years and over were around half as likely as non-Indigenous people to report excellent or very good health (rate ratio of 0.6)
* in 2012-13, 1-in-6 (18%) Indigenous people reported having asthma
* in 2012-13, around 1-in-8 (12%) Indigenous people reported diseases of the ear and/or hearing problems
* rates for diabetes/high sugar were between 3 and 5 times higher for Indigenous people as those for non-Indigenous people in all age-groups from 25 years and over
* in 2012-13, 41% of Indigenous people reported daily smoking, which was lower than the levels reported in 2008 (45%) and 2002 (51%)
* in 2012-13, 60% of Indigenous men aged 18 years and over had a waist circumference that put them at an increased risk of developing chronic diseases, while 81% of Indigenous women had an increased level of risk
*between 2001 and 2012-13, consultation rates for general practice/specialist and dental professionals have remained largely unchanged.

Media release

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