Overview

Chronic diseases are long lasting conditions with persistent effects. Their social and economic consequences can impact on peoples’ quality of life. Chronic conditions are becoming increasingly common and are a priority for action in the health sector.

Many people with chronic conditions do not have a single, predominant condition, but rather they experience multimorbidity—the presence of 2 or more chronic conditions in a person at the same time.

AIHW commonly reports on 10 major chronic condition groups: arthritis, asthma, back pain, cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, mental health conditions and osteoporosis.

These chronic conditions were selected for reporting because they are common, pose significant health problems, have been the focus of ongoing AIHW surveillance efforts and, in many instances, action can be taken to prevent their occurrence.

More reports and statistics on chronic disease can be found under Burden of disease, Biomedical risk factors and Life expectancy & deaths.

Featured reports

Latest findings

Most people aged 18 and over with multimorbidity (88%) experienced bodily pain

Multimorbidity is more common among females (23%) than males (18%)

Half (50%) of people aged 18 and over with multimorbidity had a restriction or limitation in everyday activities

The highest chronic kidney disease hospitalisation rate by Population Health Area was 23 times the national average

Self-reported heart, stroke and vascular disease rates ranged from 2.9% to 8.4% across Primary Health Networks

By Primary Health Network, type 2 diabetes rates were generally higher in regional than in metropolitan areas

Highlights