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Asthma, associated comorbidities and risk factors 

People with asthma often have other chronic diseases and long-term conditions. These are referred to as 'comorbidities'—two or more health problems that are present at the same time. Comorbidities are typically more common in older age groups.

High blood pressure  

High blood pressure—also known as hypertension—is a risk factor for chronic conditions, including stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure and chronic kidney disease. This report focuses on the prevalence of high blood pressure by age, sex, socioeconomic status, remoteness area and presents international comparisons.

Poor diet 

Australians of all ages generally have a poor diet—that is they do not eat enough of the 5 food groups and eat too many discretionary foods high in salt, fat and sugar. Inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption in particular is a risk factor for CVD, type 2 diabetes, CKD and overweight and obesity. This report provides an overview of Australia’s consumption of fruit, vegetables and other selected nutrients.

Insufficient physical activity  

Participating in regular physical activity provides many benefits for physical and mental health at all ages, and can also help manage biomedical risk factors such as high body weight, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Insufficient physical activity is a key risk factor contributing to disease burden in Australia. Given it plays a role in chronic conditions, it is important for Australians to achieve the levels of activity outlined in Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary behaviour guidelines.

Australian Burden of Disease Study 2015: Interactive data on risk factor burden 

Burden of disease is a measure of the years of healthy life lost from living with, or dying from disease and injury. A portion of this burden is preventable, being due to modifiable risk factors. This report provides information on the deaths and burden of disease due to risk factors included in the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2015. 

This is part of the Australian Burden of Disease Study: impact and causes of illness and death in Australia 2015 report. There is also another interactive data set to explore: disease burden.

Overweight and obesity rates across Australia 2014–15 

The effects of overweight and obesity are a leading health concern in Australia. This report presents local rates of overweight and obesity by Primary Health Network areas, which in 2014–15 ranged from 53% in Northern Sydney to 73% in Country South Australia. It reveals higher rates for people in regional areas than in cities. The report also focuses on obesity and shows that the rate of obese adults ranged from 16% in Central and Eastern Sydney to 38% in Country South Australia.

National statistics can’t always show the full extent of an issue. This report shines a light on rates of overweight and obesity at the local level, presented by Primary Health Network (PHN) areas across Australia.

Supplementary data tables and interactive data visualisations were updated in June 2018 to include age-standardised rates for comparative purposes.

This report was first published on the MyHealthyCommunities website.

Health risk factors in 2014–15 

This release provides information from 2014–15 on a selection of health risk factors including risky alcohol consumption, insufficient physical activity and high blood pressure. Information is presented by Primary Health Network (PHN) areas across Australia.

Supplementary data tables and interactive data visualisations were updated in June 2018 to include age-standardised rates for comparative purposes.

This report was first published on the MyHealthyCommunities website.

A picture of overweight and obesity in Australia 

This report provides an overview of overweight and obesity in Australia—a major public health issue that has significant health and financial costs. Almost one-quarter of children and two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, and rates continue to rise, largely due to a rise in obesity, which cost the economy $8.6 billion in 2011–12.

Additional overweight and obesity data are reported in 2 other AIHW products: Overweight and obesity in Australia: a birth cohort analysis and An interactive insight into overweight and obesity in Australia.

Risk factors to health 

Health risk factors are attributes, characteristics or exposures that increase the likelihood of a person developing a disease or health disorder. Behavioural risk factors are those that individuals have the most ability to modify. Biomedical risk factors are bodily states that are often influenced by behavioural risk factors.

Tobacco smoking rates across Australia 2014–15 

This release provides information from 2014–15 on the daily tobacco smoking rates across Australia.

Results are presented by the 31 Primary Health Network (PHN) areas.

Supplementary data tables and interactive data visulalisations were updated in June 2018 to include age-standardised rates for comparative purposes.

This report was first published on the MyHealthyCommunities website.

Evidence for chronic disease risk factors 

This report presents a conceptual framework of the pathways involved in the health of individuals and the population; known as determinants of health. It expands on the concept of risk factors and presents a matrix showing the relationship between selected chronic diseases and their known behavioural and biomedical risk factors.

Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease—Australian facts: risk factors 

This report is a series of 5 reports by the National Centre for Monitoring Vascular Diseases at the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare that describe the combined burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes and chronic kidney disease (CKD). This report on risk factors presents the latest statistics on the behaviours and characteristics that increase the likelihood of a person developing these chronic diseases. It also describes risk factors among people who already have CVD, diabetes or CKD. It examines age and sex characteristics and variations across population groups, including by geographical location and socioeconomic disadvantage.

Risk factors and participation in work 

This report builds on the previous AIHW report Chronic disease and participation in work by showing the association between risk factors and participation in work. In 2004-05, nearly all (96%) working-age people in Australia reported one health risk factor, and three-quarters reported more than one. People who reported three or more risk factors were significantly more likely to not participate in the labour force compared with those who reported no risk factors. Absentee rates for people who reported a risk factor and a chronic disease were significantly higher compared with people reporting no risk factors and no chronic disease. This report is a further reminder of the importance of reducing risk factor prevalence to lessen the impact of future chronic disease among working-age people.

Indicators of health risk factors, the AIHW view 

This information paper will be of interest to anyone who uses health information for research or policy making. It will facilitate discussion about the methods of collecting and reporting the information and how it is applied and interpreted. Presented in this report is the latest information about four health risk factors: alcohol consumption; physical inactivity; tobacco smoking; overweight and obesity.

National Biomedical Risk Factor Survey: report of workshop held 31 October 1997 

There are growing demands in Australia for a national survey of biomedical risk factors, especially blood indices, as part of national public health monitoring. In response, the AIHW convened a workshop in late 1997 under the auspices of the National Public Health Information Working Group, a subcommittee of the Natiional Public Health Partnership Group.