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4364.0.55.001 - National Health Survey: First Results, 2014-15  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/12/2015   
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As part of the Survey the ABS is releasing a short animated video to highlight findings on smoking, alcohol consumption and obesity.

The video can be viewed here:

Video highlighting findings

General health
  • In 2014-15, over half (56.2%) of all Australians aged 15 years and over considered themselves to be in excellent or very good health, while 14.8% rated their health as fair or poor.
  • Around one in nine (11.7%) adults experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress, similar to 2011-12 (10.8%).

Long-term health conditions

Major long-term health conditions experienced in Australia in 2014-15 were:
  • Arthritis - 3.5 million people (15.3%)
  • Asthma - 2.5 million people (10.8%)
  • Cancer - 370,100 people (1.6%)
  • High cholesterol - 1.6 million people (7.1%)
  • Diabetes - 1.2 million people (5.1%)
  • Heart disease - 1.2 million people (5.2%)
  • Hypertension - 2.6 million people (11.3%)
  • Kidney disease - 203,400 people (0.9%)
  • Mental and behavioural conditions - 4.0 million people (17.5%)
  • Osteoporosis - 801,800 people (3.5%)

Health risk factors

  • Rates of daily smoking have continued to drop, to 14.5% (2.6 million) of adults smoking in 2014-15, compared with 16.1% in 2011-12 and 22.4% in 2001.
  • Proportionally, more men smoke daily than women (16.9% and 12.1%, respectively).
  • Smoking rates for young adults (18-44 years) have decreased to 16.3% in 2014-15 from 28.2% in 2001.
  • Rates of daily smoking are higher in the Outer Regional and Remote areas of Australia (20.9%), compared with Inner Regional areas (16.7%) and Major Cities (13.0%).

Overweight and obesity
  • In 2014-15, 63.4% of Australian adults were overweight or obese (11.2 million people). This is similar to the prevalence of overweight and obesity in 2011-12 (62.8%) and an increase since 1995 (56.3%).
  • Around one in four (27.4%) children aged 5-17 years were overweight or obese, similar to 2011-12 (25.7%).

Alcohol consumption
  • In 2014-15, 17.4% of adults consumed more than the recommended two standard drinks per day on average (exceeding the National Health and Medical Research Council lifetime risk guidelines), down from 19.5% in 2011-12.
  • One in four (25.8%) men and one in ten (9.3%) women exceeded the lifetime risk guidelines.
  • 44.0% of adults consumed more than four standard drinks at least once in the past year, exceeding the National Health and Medical Research Council single occasion risk guidelines.

Blood pressure
  • In 2014-15, 23.0% of adults (4.1 million people) had measured high blood pressure (systolic or diastolic blood pressure equal to or greater than 140/90 mmHg), higher than in 2011-12 (21.5%).

Daily intake of fruit and vegetables
  • In 2014-15, nearly one in two (49.8%) adults met the Australian Dietary Guidelines for recommended daily serves of fruit, while 7.0% met the guidelines for serves of vegetables. Only one in twenty (5.1%) adults met both guidelines.
  • Nearly seven in ten (68.1%) children aged 2-18 years met the guidelines for recommended daily serves of fruit, while 5.4% met the guidelines for serves of vegetables. Only one in twenty (5.1%) children met both guidelines.

  • In 2014-15, 55.5% of 18-64 year olds participated in sufficient physical activity in the last week (more than 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or more than 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both, including walking). Nearly one in three (29.7%) were insufficiently active (less than 150 minutes in the last week) while 14.8% were inactive (no exercise in the last week).

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