About The Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (ABS: Australian Bureau of Statistics)

About The Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (ABS: Australian Bureau of Statistics)

The ABS Australian Health Survey (AHS) includes a nationally representative sample of around 12,900 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. As part of the AHS, the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (AATSIHS), collected information from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in non-remote areas and remote areas, including discrete communities.

It combines the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS) with two new components - the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NATSINPAS) and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Measures Survey (NATSIHMS).

Consistent with previous ABS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander surveys, additional people were surveyed in the Torres Strait Area, to ensure data of sufficient quality would be available for the Torres Strait Islander population.

The AATSIHS expands on the information collected about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in previous health surveys conducted by the ABS, and includes:

  • estimates of the prevalence of certain chronic diseases and long-term health conditions
  • selected behavioural risk factors including tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, overweight and obesity and physical activity
  • objective measures of selected chronic diseases, nutrition status and other risk factors which can be combined with self-reported data about health status and conditions (e.g. diabetes)
  • health risk factors and outcomes for different population groups of interest, such as different age groups and people living in remote and non-remote areas.

The statistics presented in the First Results publication (cat. no. 4727.0.55.001) and Updated Results publication (cat. no. 4727.0.55.006) are indicative of the extensive and diverse range of data available and demonstrate some of the analytical potential of the survey results.

Further results will be released progressively in the second half of 2014 and first half of 2015, and will include:

  • information on biomedical health measures;
  • comprehensive information on physical activity and sedentary behaviour; and
  • detailed information on dietary intake.

The new survey components were made possible due to additional funding from the Australian Government Department of Health as well as the National Heart Foundation of Australia. The 2012–13 AATSIHS was developed with the assistance of an advisory group comprised of experts on health issues, many of whom were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The success of the 2012–13 AATSIHS was also dependent on the very high level of cooperation received from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated; without it, the range of statistics published by the ABS would not be possible. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.

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(Sourced: ABS: Australian Bureau of Statistics)