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Healthier Population Eases Australia’s Disease Burden

A new report has found the overall health of the Australian population improved substantially between 2003 and 2015 and further gains could be achieved by reducing lifestyle-related risk factors, according to a new report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

Facts and figures:

The Good

  • Reductions in premature deaths from illnesses and injuries such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and infant and congenital conditions.
  • For the first time, living with illness or injury caused more total disease burden than premature death.
  • In 2015, the non-fatal share was 50.4% and the fatal share was 49.6% of the burden of disease.

The Bad

  • Australian’s lost 4.8 million years of healthy life due to living with or dying prematurely from disease and injury
  • Diseases of most burden, were cancer, cardiovascular diseases, musculoskeletal conditions, mental and substance use disorders and injuries.
  • The 5 risk factors that caused the most total burden in 2015 were tobacco use (9.3%), overweight & obesity (8.4%), dietary risks (7.3%), high blood pressure (5.8%) and high blood plasma glucose—including diabetes (4.7%).
  • 38% of the total burden of disease could have been prevented by reducing exposure to these five risk factors.

The details:

The full report can be found at www.aihw.gov.au/reports/burden-of-disease/australian-burden-disease-study-methods-2015/contents/table-of-contents

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