Health Status Statistics

ACT Chief Health Officer’s Report 2018

In 2016/2017, 95% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were fully immunised at five years of age.

In the ACT, 36.9% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and older smoked on a daily basis in 2014–2015. While this was similar to the national rate (38.9%), it was 3 times higher than the rate for the non-Indigenous population. Overall, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women were 6 times more likely to smoke during pregnancy (45.4%) than their non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander counterparts (6.3%). This trend was consistent across all age groups.

7% identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, reported cases of hepatitis C reported in the ACT between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2016.

ACT Chief Health Officers Report 2016

The population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the ACT was 6,160 in 2014, accounting for 2% of the total ACT population.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women were 6 times more likely to smoke during pregnancy (48%) than their non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander counterparts (8%).

Fewer Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the ACT smoked daily (29%) compared to the total indigenous population of Australia (41%).

66% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were drinking at single occasion risky levels, and 14% were drinking at lifetime risky levels.  14% aged 15 years and over drank more than 2 standard drinks on any day they consumed alcohol.  66% aged 15 years and over drank more than 4 standards drinks on a single occasion.

Notifications for newly acquired hepatitis C infection in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were lower than the national rate, but higher than non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ACT population.

The Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey 2012–2013 reports that fewer Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (aged 15 years or older) in the ACT smoked daily (29%) compared to the national rate (41%).

17% identified as Aboriginal but not Torres Strait Islander origin.

In 2013, the notification rate in the ACT was much higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples at 38 per 100,000 population, compared to non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples at 3 per 100,000 population, but lower than their national rate of 142 per 100,000.

Suicide/self-harm

Nationally, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were:

  • around twice as likely to die by suicide.
  • more than twice as likely to be treated in hospital for self-harm.

Psychological distress

Nationally, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress at around 2.5 times the rate of the general population.

Hospitalisation

ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples had higher rates of potentially preventable hospitalisations for chronic disease (2,780 per 100,000) compared with other ACT residents (790 per 100,000) in 2013–2014.

Diabetes

Some groups have an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and those born in high-diabetes-risk regions such as Asia.

ACT Chief Health Officers Report 2014

Section 8.2 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

  • 79.5% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents reported their health to be good to excellent in 2012-13.
  • Tobacco use by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents is consistently significantly higher than that reported by other ACT residents.
  • Significantly more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students reported having ever smoked than other ACT students.
  • Significantly more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander secondary students reported having ever used an illicit substance in their lifetime than their ACT counterparts.
  • Both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males and females were hospitalised for chronic kidney disease at around four times the rate of other ACT males and females in the ACT, but hospitalisation rates for dialysis and chronic kidney disease were lower in the ACT than nationally.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were hospitalised at almost four times the rate of their ACT counterparts for diabetes, and almost twice the rate for circulatory diseases. They were hospitalised at twice (2.2 times) the rate for chronic conditions, 1.7 times the rate for acute conditions, and 1.6 times the rate for vaccine-preventable conditions.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had significantly more potentially preventable hospital admissions (33.7 per 1,000 population) than their other ACT counterparts (17.4), but this rate was much lower than for NSW, Vic, Qld, WA, SA & NT combined (137).
  • Low birthweight is more than twice as common among babies born of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers as among babies of other mothers in the ACT (13% compared with 5%) during 2007-11.
ACT Chief Health Officers Report 2012

Section 7.1 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 

  • Tobacco use by ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents is consistently 
    significantly higher than that reported by other ACT residents; 
  • Of the 3,029 hospital separations for ACT residents who identified as Aboriginal and Torres 
    Strait Islander between in 2008-10, over a third were for renal dialysis; 
  • Nearly two per cent (1.7%) of ACT resident women who gave birth in 2009 identified as 
    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. They gave birth at younger ages (less than 20 years) 
    with the teenage fertility rate being four times higher than for other ACT women; 
  • Over half of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women reported smoking during 
    pregnancy in 2009 (50.6%); and 
  • The percentage of babies born to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who were low 
    birthweight was significantly higher for each three year period between 2000 and 2008, than 
    the percentage of low birthweight babies born to other ACT women. 
ACT Chief Health Officers Report 2010

Section 8.2 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples experience significantly more ill health than other Australians. They typically have lower life expectancy and experience poorer heath across a range of indicators compared to other Australians. 

Survey results give some indication of health status. In 2004-05, long term health conditions were reported by 82.3% of ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, with the age-standardised rates being similar for males and females. The most frequently reported long-term health conditions were eye or sight problems (37.9%), asthma (18.0%) and ear and hearing problems (14.5%). 

More information on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Evidence and Data Collections.  

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Page last updated on: 18 Sep 2018