Australia is taking great strides in many health areas, but there are groups whose health still lags behind, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s latest national report card on health.
The 11th biennial report, Australia’s health 2008, released by Health Minister Nicola Roxon at the ‘Australia’s health 2008’ conference in Canberra, shows falling death rates for cancer, heart disease, strokes, and injury.
Here are just a few key points from the report:
- Australians enjoy one of the highest life expectancies in the world-an average of 81.4 years, second only to Japan
- Injury is the most common cause of death in the first half of life
- Survival is improving for cancers overall
- Diabetes is becoming more common
- The vaccination coverage of children is very high and continues to increase
- Caesarean section rates are increasing
- Close to 3 in 10 children and young people are overweight or obese
- For older people, the most prominent health conditions in terms of death and hospitalisation are heart disease, stroke and cancer
- Almost 1 in 9 GP visits involve mental health-related problems