Australian Bureau of Statistics
4363.0.55.001 - Australian Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2011-13
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/05/2014
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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 questions that are common to both the 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:
Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of energy needed for a minimal set of functions necessary for life over a defined period of time. BMR is given in kilojoules (kJ) per 24 hours and is calculated using age, sex and weight (kg).
Between-person variation refers to the differences between individuals. In the usual nutrient intakes publication, it refers to the variance in nutrient intakes between different respondents. In the NCI method, part of this may be estimated by the relationship of covariates to the reported intakes, if covariates are used. The remaining between-person variation not explained by the covariates is modelled using a residual between-person variation error term. This term is also referred to as 'person-specific effects'.
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).
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines use the best available scientific evidence to provide information on the types and amounts of foods, food groups, and dietary patterns that aim to:
The guidelines are for use by health professionals, policy makers, educators, food manufacturers, food retailers and researchers.
The content of the Australian Dietary Guidelines applies to all healthy Australians, as well as those with common diet-related risk factors such as being overweight. They do not apply to people who need special dietary advice for a medical condition, or to the frail elderly.
For more information, see Cardiovascular disease biomarkers.
Energy, measured in kilojoules (kJ), is required by the body for metabolic processes, physiological functions, muscular activity, heat production and growth and development. All energy reported in the Australian Health Survey (AHS) is energy including that from dietary fibre.
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.
In general, inadequate intake of a nutrient is likely to increase a person's risk of adverse health effects, by negatively affecting the normal functions of the body. Inadequate intake of nutrient occurs when a person does not meet their requirements for a nutrient, as given in the Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand (NRVs). Inadequate intakes of specific nutrients will have different effects on health within different age and sex groups. For example, if children and adolescents have inadequate intakes of calcium it reduces their ability to develop strong, healthy bones. For more information on the scientific basis for the NRVs and likely health effects of not meeting requirements for each nutrient, see Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand.
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 (who participated in the NHMS) 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.
For more information, see Diabetes Biomarkers.
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.
Macronutrients are nutrients that provide energy and raw materials for body tissues and processes. They include protein, fats, carbohydrates and alcohol.
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 and Data quality.
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.
Minerals are chemical elements required for a very wide variety of functions including cell function, muscle function, bone formation, hormone production and fluid balance. Some minerals are essential for health and are classified into major and trace elements according to the quantity required by the body.
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:
National Nutrition Survey
The 1995 National Nutrition Survey focussed on collecting information on:
A normal distribution is a true symmetric distribution of observed values. When a histogram is constructed on values that are normally distributed, the shape of columns form a symmetrical bell shape. This is why the normal distribution is also known as a 'normal curve' or 'bell curve'.
Key features of the normal distribution are:
Nutrients are chemical substances provided by food that are used by the body to provide energy, structural materials, and biochemical cofactors to support the growth, maintenance, and repair of body tissues. Major food sources of nutrients are available in Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results – Foods and Nutrients, 2011-12 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.007).
The Nutrient Database used to derive energy and nutrient estimates for the 24-hour dietary recall data was developed by Food Standards Australia New Zealand. See AUSNUT 2011-13.
Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs)
The Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs) are a set of recommendations made by the NHMRC and New Zealand Ministry of Health in 2006 for nutritional intake, based on currently available scientific knowledge. See Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand.
Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFAs)
Within-person variation, or day-to-day variation, refers to the fluctuations in an individual’s intake (e.g. of nutrients) from each day to the next. In the usual nutrient intakes publication, the NCI method estimates within-person variation in a population group, by comparing each person's nutrient intake from their first 24-hour recall to their nutrient intake from their second 24-hour recall. The NCI method then omits within-person variation from the output usual nutrient intake distribution, as this does not contribute to usual nutrient intakes.
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This page last updated 5 March 2015