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4363.0.55.001 - Australian Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2011-13  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/06/2013   
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Contents >> Health conditions >> Female life stages

FEMALE LIFE STAGES

Definition

This topic refers to life stages that may occur across a female's lifetime.

Population

Information was obtained for all females aged 10 years and over in the NHS and NNPAS.

Methodology

Female life stages was collected in both the NHS and the NNPAS surveys. For comparison of female life stages with NHS only items, the NHS file should be used and similarly for comparison with NNPAS only items, the NNPAS file should be used. However a larger combined, core sample of approximately 15,000 females aged 10 years and over provides more accurate estimates and allows for analysis at a finer level of disaggregation. Therefore for the most accurate information for female life stages alone or comparison with other items collected in the core, the core file should be used. For more information on the structure of the AHS, see the Structure of the Australian Health Survey page of this Users' Guide.

Females aged 10 years and over were asked if any of the following stages of life applied to them:

  • have never menstruated
  • currently pregnant
  • currently breast feeding
  • currently experiencing menopause
  • post menopause.

More than one response was allowed.

Data items

The data items and related output categories for this topic are available in Excel spreadsheet format from the Downloads page of this product.

Interpretation

Points to be considered in interpreting data for this topic include the following:
  • In most instances, women will have responded to none of the categories and were therefore coded to 'None of these apply'. These women can be considered to be at the life stage between menarche and menopause. However, at ages above that for which most women have reached menopause (between 45 to 55 years), some women did not respond to any of the categories. For example, around one quarter (24.9%) of female respondents aged 60 years and over did not respond to any of the categories, indicating that the responses 'currently experiencing menopause' and 'post menopause' were not well understood or missed by respondents.
  • Data from this topic is expected to be of most use in aiding interpretation of the biomedical information from the National Health Measures Survey, as opposed to simply providing estimates of the number of women in the population at different life stages.
  • As information is self-reported, it is possible that some women may have been pregnant at the time of the interview, but were unaware that they were, therefore undercounting in this category may have occurred.

Comparability with 2007-08

This topic was not collected in 2007-08.

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