Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander: a person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent who identifies as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. See also Indigenous.

additional diagnosis: a condition or complaint that either coexists with the principal diagnosis or arises during the hospitalisation. An additional diagnosis is reported if the condition affects patient management.

age-specific rate: A rate for a specific age group. The numerator and the denominator relate to the same age group.

age-standardisation: A way to remove the influence of age when comparing populations with different age structures. This is usually necessary because the rates of many diseases vary strongly (usually increasing) with age. The age structures of the different populations are converted to the same ‘standard’ structure, and then the disease rates that would have occurred with that structure are calculated and compared.

antenatal: The period covering conception up to the time of birth. Synonymous with prenatal.

associated cause(s) of death: all causes listed on the death certificate other than the underlying cause of death. They include the immediate cause, any intervening causes and conditions that contributed to the death but were not related to the disease or condition causing the death. See also cause of death.

biomedical data: biomedical or measured data―in the form of markers found during blood and urine testing―is the most accurate way to measure the prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes and chronic kidney disease. In the 2011–12 Australian Bureau of Statistics Australian Health Survey:

  • to detect biomedical signs of diabetes two tests were undertaken: a measure of fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and a measure of glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c).
  • to identify signs of chronic kidney disease two tests were undertaken to determine kidney function (estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and kidney damage (albumin creatinine ratio (ACR)).

blood cholesterol: Fatty substance produced by the liver and carried by the blood to supply the rest of the body. Its natural function is to supply material for cell walls and for steroid hormones, but if levels in the blood become too high this can lead to atherosclerosis (a disease in which plaque builds up inside the arteries) and heart disease.

blood glucose: Also referred to as blood sugar, is the amount of glucose in your blood. Glucose is the principal sugar produced by the body from the food you eat, mainly carbohydrates, but also from proteins and fats. The body also releases stored glucose from the liver and muscles. 

blood pressure: The force exerted by the blood on the walls of the arteries as it is pumped around the body by the heart. It is written, for example, as 134/70 mmHg, where the upper number is the systolic pressure (the maximum force against the arteries as the heart muscle contracts to pump the blood out) and the lower number is the diastolic pressure (the minimum force against the arteries as the heart relaxes and fills again with blood). Levels of blood pressure can vary greatly from person to person and from moment to moment in the same person.

body mass index (BMI): The most commonly used method of assessing whether a person is normal weight, underweight, overweight or obese (see obesity). It is calculated by dividing the person’s weight (in kilograms) by their height (in metres) squared—that is, kg ÷ m2. For both men and women, underweight is a BMI below 18.5, acceptable weight is from 18.5 to less than 25, overweight but not obese is from 25 to less than 30, and obese is 30 and over. Sometimes overweight and obese are combined—defined as a BMI of 25 and over.

burden of disease and injury: A term referring to the quantified impact of a disease or injury on an individual or population, using the disability-adjusted life year (DALY) measure.

cardiovascular disease: Any disease of the circulatory system, namely the heart (cardio) or blood vessels (vascular). Includes angina, heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. Also known as circulatory disease.

cause of death: the causes of death entered on the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death are all diseases, morbid conditions or injuries that either resulted in or contributed to death, and the circumstances of the accident or violence that produced any such injuries. Causes of death are commonly reported by the underlying cause of death. See also associated cause(s) of death.

cholesterol: See blood cholesterol.

chronic kidney disease (CKD): A term that refers to all conditions of the kidney, lasting at least 3 months, where a person has had evidence of kidney damage and/or reduced kidney function, regardless of the specific cause.

chronic diseases/conditions: A diverse group of diseases/conditions, such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis, which tend to be long lasting and persistent in their symptoms or development. Although these features also apply to some communicable diseases (infectious diseases), the term is usually confined to non-communicable diseases.

confidence interval (CI): a statistical term describing a range (interval) of values within which we can be 'confident' that the true value lies, usually because it has a 95% or higher chance of doing so.

coronary heart disease: A disease due to blockages in the heart’s own (coronary) arteries, expressed as angina or a heart attack. Also known as ischaemic heart disease.

DALY: See disability-adjusted life year.

diabetes (diabetes mellitus): A chronic condition where the body cannot properly use its main energy source—the sugar glucose. This is due to a relative or absolute deficiency in insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps glucose enter the body’s cells from the bloodstream and be processed by them. Diabetes is marked by an abnormal build-up of glucose in the blood; it can have serious short- and long-term effects. For the main types of diabetes, see type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes and diabetes ‘other’.

diabetes ‘other’: Other types of diabetes are relatively uncommon, and are most typically related to certain conditions or syndromes that result in defects in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both. For some people with other types of diabetes, adequate glycaemic control can be achieved through diet and exercise or use of other medications. Some however, may also require insulin to manage their blood glucose.

disability-adjusted life year (DALY): A year (1 year) of healthy life lost, either through premature death or equivalently through living with disability due to illness or injury. It is the basic unit used in burden of disease and injury estimates.

end-stage kidney disease (ESKD): The most severe form of chronic kidney disease (CKD), also known as Stage 5 CKD or kidney failure. Also known as end-stage renal disease.

estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR): estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate. eGFR is calculated from blood test results based on the level of creatinine (a waste product) in your blood. Levels consistently below 60mL/min/1.73m2 indicate chronic kidney disease. 

estimated resident population (ERP): The official Australian Bureau of Statistics estimate of the Australian population. The ERP is derived from the 5-yearly Census counts and is updated quarterly between each Census. It is based on the usual residence of the person. Rates are calculated per 1,000 or 100,000 mid-year (30 June) ERP.

gestational diabetes: A form of diabetes that is first diagnosed during pregnancy (gestation). It may disappear after pregnancy but signals a high risk of diabetes occurring later on in life. See diabetes (diabetes mellitus).

Glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c): can be used to assess the average blood glucose over the preceding 6–8 weeks and is considered the gold standard for assessing glycaemic control. Targets for HbA1c in people with diabetes should be individualised, but a general target of less than or equal to 7.0% is recommended for people with type 2 diabetes. See also blood glucose.

hospitalisation: Synonymous with admission and separation; that is, an episode of hospital care that starts with the formal admission process and ends with the formal separation process. An episode of care can be completed by the patient’s being discharged, being transferred to another hospital or care facility, or dying, or by a portion of a hospital stay starting or ending in a change of type of care (for example, from acute to rehabilitation).

incidence: refers to the number of new cases of an illness, disease, or event occurring during a given period.

Indigenous: a person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent who identifies as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. See also Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Indigenous regular clients: A regular client is defined as a person who has attended a particular primary health care organisation at least 3 times in the previous 2 years. Starting from the June 2018 collection, the definition of a regular client excludes deceased patients. For more information see: Interpreting nKPI data.

insulin: Hormone produced by the pancreas which regulates the body’s energy sources, most notably the sugar glucose. It is an injectable agent that helps lower blood glucose levels by moving glucose into cells to be used as energy.

National (insulin-treated) diabetes register (NDR)

non-Indigenous Australians:

obesity: Marked degree of overweight, defined for population studies as a body mass index of 30 or over. See also overweight.

overweight: Defined for the purpose of population studies as a body mass index of 25 or over. See also obesity.

prevalence: is the number or proportion of cases or instances of a disease or illness present in a population at a given time. The prevalence of disease is related to both the incidence of the disease and how long people live after developing it (survival).

principal diagnosis: the diagnosis established after study to be chiefly responsible for occasioning the patients hospitalisation.

rate: A rate is one number (the numerator) divided by another number (the denominator). The numerator is commonly the number of events in a specified time. The denominator is the population ‘at risk’ of the event. Rates (crude, age-specific and age-standardised) are generally multiplied by a number such as 100,000 to create whole numbers.

remoteness: a system which classifies geographical locations into groups (Major cities, Inner regional, Outer regional, Remote, Very remote) according to distance from major population centres and services. In these analysis, remoteness is based on Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) and defined as Remoteness Areas by the Australian Statistical Geographical Standard (ASGS) (in each Census year). Remoteness is a geographical concept and does not take account of accessibility which is influenced by factors such as the socioeconomic status or mobility of a population.

self-reported: self-reported data rely on survey participants being aware of, and accurately reporting, their health status and health conditions, which is not as accurate as data based on clinical records or measured data. As some people may not be aware that they have the condition estimates based on self-reported data, especially for conditions such as diabetes and chronic kidney disease, may underestimate the prevalence of these diseases. People also underestimate their weight yet overestimate their height, which are used to calculate body mass index for the assessment of overweight and obesity. Measured data are, therefore, more reliable in such instances.

separation (from hospital): The formal process where a hospital records the completion of an episode of treatment and/or care for an admitted patient—in this report, described by the term hospitalisation.

socioeconomic groups: is an indication of how 'well off' a person or group is. Socioeconomic groups are reported using the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), whereby areas are classified on the basis of social and economic information (such as low income, low educational attainment, high levels of public sector housing, high unemployment and jobs in relatively unskilled occupations) collected in the Census of Population and Housing. Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas, are divided into 5 groups, from the most disadvantaged (worst off) to the least disadvantaged (best off). Note, that this index refers to the average disadvantage of all people living in an area, not to the level of disadvantage of a specific individual.

Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA): A set of indexes, created from Census data, that aim to represent the socioeconomic position of Australian communities and identify areas of advantage and disadvantage. The index value reflects the overall or average level of disadvantage of the population of an area; it does not show how individuals living in the same area differ from each other in their socioeconomic group. This report uses the Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage.

stroke: An event that occurs when an artery supplying blood to the brain suddenly becomes blocked or bleeds. A stroke often causes paralysis of parts of the body normally controlled by that area of the brain, or speech problems and other symptoms. It is a major form of cerebrovascular disease.

type 1 diabetes: A form of diabetes mostly arising among children or younger adults and marked by a complete lack of insulin. Insulin replacement is needed for survival. See diabetes (diabetes mellitus).

type 2 diabetes: The most common form of diabetes, occurring mostly in people aged 40 and over, and marked by reduced or less effective insulin.

underlying cause of death: the disease or injury that initiated the sequence of events leading directly to death; that is the primary or main cause. For each death, only a single underlying cause is selected from among all the conditions reported on a death certificate.