Biggest Ever Australian Health Survey
12 May 2010 at 1:24 pm
The health of Australians will be getting its most comprehensive check-up ever, with the announcement of the Australian Health Survey.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will conduct the survey under the Census and Statistics Act 1905, to build on its long running health survey program.
The survey is being planned in close consultation with the Department of Health and Ageing and the National Heart Foundation of Australia, who have provided supporting funding for new components of the collection.
Australian Statistician, Brian Pink says it will be the most comprehensive health survey ever undertaken by the ABS and will be an important benchmark to help determine future health strategies.
The survey will include new measures of what Australians are eating and how physically active they are. It will also collect other health information, such as whether people have been diagnosed with arthritis or heart disease.
In another first, the survey will also measure chronic disease risk factors such as cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
In support of the survey, the Heart Foundation’s CEO, Dr Lyn Roberts says information from this survey will help improve the understanding of cardiovascular disease, which is currently responsible for one-third of all deaths in Australia.
The survey will also ask people to consider a visit to a pathology centre so that information on health risks factors can be derived from blood and urine samples.
The ABS says this will give a more accurate picture of the number of Australians with health issues such as high cholesterol, diabetes risk or poor nutritional status.
Around 50,000 people across Australia will be asked to take part in the survey, which will start in April 2011.
As part of the Federal Budget’s $7.3 billion in new health spending is the introduction of individual electronic health records.