The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has commenced the largest ever Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health survey, aimed at improving knowledge of the health issues affecting Indigenous Australians.


The survey will expand on the previous 2004-05 work by increasing the number of participants by 30 per cent, while collecting new information on exercise, diet and measures of cholesterol, blood glucose and iron.


For the first time, the ABS will directly measure obesity and blood pressure levels, as well as nutritional status and chronic disease. By combining the self-reported information together with the biomedical samples, a more complete picture of the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will be available.


The survey will be conducted over 2012-13 across the country in cities and remote communities to create evidence to measure progress in improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and contributing to Closing the Gap in life expectancy

The first survey results will be released in September 2013 and will be used by a wide range of Aboriginal organisations, health researchers, public health advocates, government, clinicians and community health organisations.