Snapshot of Victorian health released
The Victorian Minister for Health David Davis has released the Victorian Population Health Survey 2009 which provides a snapshot, based on a detailed survey of around 7,500 adults, of the general health and physical fitness of Victorians.
Key findings of the survey, which has been conducted every year since 2001, were:
More than half (52.0 per cent) of all persons surveyed met the recommended minimum daily intake levels for fruit (three or more serves for those aged 18 years and two or more serves for those aged 19 years and over).
Less than one in 10 adults (8.1 per cent) in 2009 met the recommended minimum daily intake for vegetables (four or more serves for those aged 18 years and five or more serves for those aged 19 years and over).
The proportion of males and females drinking alcohol at levels for long-term risk of harm did not vary significantly over the period 2003–2009. In 2009, approximately 4.7 per cent of males and 3.5 per cent of females reported drinking alcohol at risky or high risk level for long-term harm.
Less than one in five adults aged 18 years or over (18.6 per cent) were current smokers in 2009, down from a high of 24.1 per cent in 2001.
The proportion of persons undertaking adequate physical activity (measured in both sufficient time and sessions) to meet the national guidelines, was 63.4 per cent in 2009. This figure has not changed significantly since 2005.
The proportion of persons reporting their health as excellent, very good or good was 80.7 per cent in 2009. This figure did not change significantly over the period 2005–2009.
Measures of height and weight were collected for the first time in 2002 to calculate body mass index. Whilst the prevalence of overweight in males and females remained constant between 2003 and 2009, the prevalence of obesity in both males and females increased over this period.
The proportion of males and all persons, but not females, who had experienced symptoms of current asthma (experienced asthma symptoms in the previous 12 months) remained unchanged between 2003 and 2009. By contrast, the proportion of females who had experienced symptoms of asthma in the previous 12 months significantly declined between 2003 and 2009.
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes was 4.8 per cent for all Victorians in 2009. The proportion of males and females who were ever diagnosed by a doctor with type 2 diabetes significantly increased between 2003 and 2009.
The proportion of persons with very high levels of psychological stress, as determined using the Kessler 10 measure of psychological distress, was reported by 3.8 per cent of persons and remained steady at 2–4 per cent over the period 2003–2009.
Health checks and screening
In 2009, more than three quarters (79.1 per cent) of all persons surveyed reported having had their blood pressure checked, more than half (57.0 per cent) reported having had a blood cholesterol test and more than half (51.7 per cent) reported having had a blood glucose test, in the past two years.
More than a third (35.2 per cent) of all persons aged 50 years and over reported having had a test to detect bowel cancer in the past two years.
Connections with others
In 2009, almost a third of all persons aged 18 years and over (33.3 per cent) reported having helped out a local group as a volunteer and more than half (52.9 per cent) had attended a local community event in the past six months. Most persons could get help from friends, family or neighbours when needed.
Almost three out of four persons (75.1 per cent) felt multiculturalism made life in their area better, 83.2 per cent felt valued by society and 73.8 per cent felt they had an opportunity to have a say on issues that were important to them.
The proportion of persons who reported being unable to raise $2,000 in an emergency did not significantly change between 2003 and 2009.
The report is available at http://www.health.vic.gov.au/