Australian Bureau of Statistics
4363.0.55.001 - Australian Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2011-13
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/04/2014
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This document was added 12/13/2013.
Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia
Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) was developed by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) and the National Key Centre for Social Applications of GIS (GISCA). ARIA measures the remoteness of a point based on the physical road distance to the nearest Urban Centre in each of five size classes. For more information on how ARIA is defined see Information Paper: ABS Views on Remoteness, 2001 (cat. no. 1244.0) and Information Paper: Outcomes of ABS Views on Remoteness Consultation, Australia, Jun 2001 (cat. no. 1244.0.00.001). Also refer to Census Geography Paper 03/01 - ASGC Remoteness Classification - Purpose and Use, available from the ABS web site.
In addition to this, the AHS Survey contains a Core dataset, which is produced from question set that are common to both NHS and NNPAS. See Australian Health Survey Core Dataset for details.
Australian Health Survey (AHS) Core Dataset
The AHS Core Dataset is produced from the question sets that are common to both NHS and NNPAS. The questions set include the following topics:
Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) classifications
The ARTG identification numbers fall into two different types of classifications:
In the National Health Measures Survey (NHMS), a biomarker generally refers to a measured characteristic, which may be used to indicate a health risk factor or condition. For more information about the biomarkers measured in the NHMS, see Biomedical Measures.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
BMI scores are derived for measured height and weight. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify underweight, overweight and obesity. It is defined as the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in metres (kg/m2). For more information, see Body Mass and Physical Measurements and Appendix 4: Classification of BMI for children.
Chronic kidney disease stages
Chronic kidney disease stages were derived using a combination of participants' estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) results with their albumin creatinine ratio (ACR) results. The different stages were defined as follows:
For more information, see Chronic Kidney Disease biomarkers.
In this survey, comorbid conditions refers to two or more medical conditions, which a respondent has reported as current long-term conditions they have. See also Comorbidity.
In this survey, comorbidity is a term used to describe the occurrence of two or more conditions. Some biomedical and self report comorbidity data items have been produced for specific combinations of conditions to aid this type of analysis.
However, it is possible to utilise the available condition data in the ICD-10 data items to undertake analysis of additional combinations of health conditions. Different restrictions (for example whether a condition is diagnosed, or whether a condition is current) can also be applied to individual conditions when undertaking analysis.
For more information on the comorbidity data items available and the definitions used for the conditions within these items, see Biomedical comorbidity and Self report comorbidity.
See long-term medical condition.
Condition status brings together information about whether or not a person has ever been told by a doctor or nurse they have a condition, whether a condition was current at the time of the survey, and if current whether the condition was long-term (i.e. had lasted or was expected to last for 6 months or more).
Refers to a number of different lipid disorders (that is, conditions where there are too many fats in the blood). In this survey, a person was considered to have dyslipidaemia if they had one or more of the following:
For more information, see Cardiovascular disease biomarkers.
Equivalisation is a process whereby reported household income is adjusted to take account of the size and composition of the household. For further details see Household and family characteristics.
Two or more persons, one of whom is at least 15 years of age, who are related by blood, marriage (registered or de facto), adoption, step or fostering; and who are usually resident in the same household. The basis of a family is formed by identifying the presence of a couple relationship, lone parent-child relationship or other blood relationship. Some households will, therefore, contain more than one family.
The differentiation of families based on the presence or absence of couple relationships, parent-child relationships, child dependency relationships or other blood relationships, in that order of preference.
Heart, stroke and vascular conditions
A subset of reported long-term conditions comprising the following:
A household is defined as one or more persons, at least one of whom is at least 15 years of age, usually resident in the same private dwelling.
Reported as the sum of the personal cash incomes of all household members aged 15 years and over. Household income is available in dollar amounts and deciles/quintiles, in reported and equivalised form. For further details see Income sources.
Refers to the composition of the household to which the respondent belonged. For further details see Population characteristics.
ICD-10 refers to the tenth revision of the International Classification of Diseases and Health Related Problems. The classification of long-term conditions most commonly used in output from the 2011-13 AHS was developed for use in this survey based on the ICD-10. See Appendix 2: Classification of health conditions for the content of the classifications.
Incidence refers to the number of new cases of a particular characteristic, such as cancer, which occur within a certain period. This differs from prevalence, which refers to the number of cases of a particular characteristic that are present in a population at one point in time.
Refers to people who identified themselves, or were identified by another household member, as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.
In this survey, a person was considered to have known diabetes if:
People who had been told by a doctor or nurse that they have diabetes, but who were not taking medication for diabetes and did not have a fasting plasma glucose level of 7.0 mmol/L or greater, were classified as not having diabetes.
People with known diabetes were further classified as having Type I, Type II or Type unknown, based on the type of diabetes that a doctor or nurse told them they had. Women with gestational diabetes were excluded.
The corresponding diabetes cut-off for HbA1c is a value of 6.5% or greater.
Long-term medical condition
A medical condition (illness, injury or disability) which has lasted at least six months, or which the respondent expects to last for six months or more.
Margin of Error
Margin of Error describes the distance from the population value that the sample estimate is likely to be within, and is specified at a given level of confidence. Confidence levels typically used are 90%, 95% and 99%. For example, at the 95% confidence level the MoE indicates that there are about 19 chances in 20 that the estimate will differ by less than the specified MoE from the population value (the figure obtained if all dwellings had been enumerated). For further information see Technical Note.
Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET) or intensity values are a measure of the energy expenditure required to carry out physical activity, expressed as a multiple of the resting metabolic rate (RMR). MET is defined as the ratio of metabolic rate (and therefore the rate of energy consumption) during a specific physical activity to a reference rate of metabolic rate at rest. MET or intensity values operate as a factor when determining level of exercise. For further information see the adult and child (5-17 years) Physical activity pages.
National Health Measures Survey (NHMS)
The National Health Measures Survey, which is sometimes referred to as the biomedical component of the AHS, focused on early lifestyle related diseases through blood and urine testing. Information was collected on:
Participants were those people aged five years and over, who were selected for either NHS or NNPAS and agreed to also participate in the NHMS. Children aged 5 to 11 were only asked to provide urine samples. For more information about the tests, see Biomedical Measures.
National Health Survey (NHS)
The National Health Survey focused on collecting information on:
National Health Priority Areas (NHPA)
National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NNPAS)
The National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey focused on collecting information on:
The number of cases, of a particular characteristic (e.g. a specific long-term condition such as cancer), that are present in a population at one point in time. This differs from incidence, which refers to the number of new cases of a particular characteristic occurring within a certain period.
A proxy is a person who answers the survey questions when the person selected for the interview is incapable of answering for themselves. Reasons the selected person may not be able to answer for themselves include illness/injury or language difficulties. A proxy also answers on behalf of a child under 15 years of age; or for a child aged 15-17 years when parental consent is not given to interview them personally. For further information see the Interviews section of Data collection.
Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFAs)
Four Indexes compiled by the ABS following each population Census. Each index summarises different aspects of the socio-economic condition of areas. The Index of Disadvantage is the SEIFA index most frequently used in health analysis.
The Indexes available for use with 2011-12 NHS and NNPAS data are those compiled from the 2006 and 2011 Census of Population and Housing. For further information about the indexes, see Household and family characteristics.
To determine whether a difference between two survey estimates is a real difference in the populations to which the estimates relate, or merely the product of different sampling variability, the statistical significance of the difference can be tested. This is particularly useful for interpreting apparent changes in estimates over time. The test is done by calculating the standard error of the difference between two estimates and then dividing the actual difference by the standard error of the difference. If the result is greater than 1.96, there are 19 chances in 20 that there is a real difference in the populations to which the estimates relate. For further information see Data quality and interpretation of results.
Type of condition
The type of medical condition as reported by respondents and/or office coded by ABS from the description provided by respondents. All reported long-term medical conditions are coded to a classification developed by the ABS for use in the Australian Health Survey based on the 10th revision of the International Classification of Diseases and Health Related Problems (ICD-10). See also ICD-10.
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This page last updated 15 April 2014