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Australian health improves

14 August 2016 by News Desk

Australian health chiefs say the overall burden of disease and injury has fallen since 2003.

Australian healthAustralian health figures show a 10 per cent reduction in the total burden of ill-health, death and injury across the country.

The reduction was mainly due to a 15 per cent fall in the number of people losing years from dying prematurely. There was also a 4 per cent fall in the number of years of healthy life lost through living with an illness or injury.

Among all the disease groups, the largest fall in the fatal burden (years of life lost through dying prematurely from illness or injury) has been seen in cardiovascular diseases where rates have fallen by around 30 per cent.

Health chiefs say that around 30 per cent of illness and disease experienced by the population could be prevented by removing risk factors such as tobacco use, high body weight, alcohol use, physical inactivity and high blood pressure.

Australian health improves

The findings come in a report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare that shows there have been good gains in the health of the Australian population.

Chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, mental and substance use disorders, and musculoskeletal conditions still dominate in terms of total burden, along with injury, the report says.

“These 5 disease groups combined accounted for around two-thirds of the total disease burden-69% in males and 62% in females,” said report co-author Dr Lynelle Moon.

Rates of disease were generally similar across all states and territories, except for the Northern Territory where the overall rate was around 1.5 times higher than other states.

“If everyone in Australia had the same health burden as the most well-off socio-economic group, a 21% reduction in overall health problems could be achieved across the country”, Dr Moon said.

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