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4715.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, Australia, 2004-05  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/04/2006   
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MEDIA RELEASE

April 11, 2006
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)
32/2006

Largest national Indigenous health survey released: ABS

The results of the largest ever national health survey of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Over three-quarters (78%) of Indigenous people aged 15 years and over considered their health to be 'good to excellent' in 2004-05. However those reporting their health as 'fair or poor' was nearly double the rate of non-Indigenous Australians.

Eye/sight problems the most common
Eye/sight problems were the most commonly reported conditions among Indigenous people (30%), followed by asthma (15%), various back problems (13%), heart and circulatory diseases (12%) and ear/hearing problems (12%).

Indigenous Australians were 1.6 times more likely to report asthma as a long-term health condition than non-Indigenous Australians.

High blood pressure was reported by one in five (22%) of those aged 35 years and over.


Indigenous Australians were more than three times as likely as non-Indigenous Australians to report having diabetes (including high sugar levels). Indigenous people in remote areas were almost twice (9%) as likely to have diabetes than those in non-remote (5%) areas. Nearly one-third (32%) of those 55 years and over had diabetes (including high sugar levels).

One in ten Indigenous children under 15 years old reported having ear/hearing problems, about three times the rate of non-Indigenous children.

Consulting health professionals
Indigenous Australians were more likely to have consulted health professionals (other than doctors or dentists) than other Australians. In remote areas, Aboriginal health care workers were consulted by 13% of the population.

More than one in ten (11%) Indigenous Australians aged 15 years and over had never visited a dentist (or other health professional) about their teeth, in remote areas almost a quarter (24%) had never visited a dentist.

Health risks
  • one in two (50%) Indigenous adults were daily smokers, about twice the rate of non-Indigenous adults.
  • Indigenous and non-Indigenous adults reported similar rates for drinking alcohol at risky or high risk levels.


Indigenous people: Summary Health Characteristics, by State and Territory and Australia, 2004-05

State/Territory
Australia
NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Total
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
Self assessed health
Excellent/very good/good
77
78
77
77
78
77
84
83
78
Fair/Poor
23
22
23
23
22
23
16
17
22
Long term conditions
Asthma
17
20
15
15
14
19
8
18
15
Back problems
13
15
13
14
15
15
10
14
13
Diabetes/High sugar levels
5
4
6
8
9
2
8
4
6
Ear/hearing problems
12
12
11
12
14
11
14
14
12
Eye/sight problems
34
33
30
30
29
33
22
38
30
Heart and circulatory diseases
12
15
10
12
12
11
13
10
12
Health related actions
Admitted to hospital in last 12 months
15
14
15
18
19
14
22
13
16
Consulted GP/specialist in last 2 weeks
20
28
19
18
19
22
21
13
20
Consulted other health professional in last 2 weeks
14
15
16
17
16
11
34
16
17
Risk behaviours
Current daily smoker
51
50
50
53
44
50
54
41
50
Risky/high risk alcohol consumption
17
16
19
17
19
13
8
11
16

Further details can be found in National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, Australia, 2004-05 (cat. no. 4715.0). State and territory versions of national tables are also available.


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