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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Preventing suicide: a global imperative (WHO)

Every 40 seconds a person dies by suicide somewhere in the world. "Preventing suicide: a global imperative" is the first WHO report of its kind. It aims to increase awareness of the public health significance of suicide and suicide attempts, to make suicide prevention a higher priority on the global public health agenda, and to encourage and support countries to develop or strengthen comprehensive suicide prevention strategies in a multisectoral public health approach.

The report provides a global knowledge base on suicide and suicide attempts as well as actionable steps for countries based on their current resources and context to move forward in suicide prevention.

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Measures Survey.

This publication presents information from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Measures Survey. This survey is the largest biomedical survey ever conducted for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Around 3,300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults (aged 18 years and over) across Australia took part and voluntarily provided blood and/or urine samples, which were tested for a range of chronic disease and nutrient biomarkers.

Findings at the national level included :

* One in ten(11.1%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults had diabetes. This comprised 9.6% with diagnosed diabetes and 1.5% with diabetes newly diagnosed from their test results.

* A further 4.7% were at high risk of diabetes according to their blood test results.

* Two in three (65.3%) had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, that is, they were taking cholesterol-lowering medication or had one or more of high total cholesterol, lower than normal levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, high LDL (bad) cholesterol or high triglycerides.

* Nearly one in five (17.9%) had signs of chronic kidney disease.

Disease indicators more than doubled for Indigenous Australians living in remote areas.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Stillbirths in Australia 1991-2009 (AIHW)

Australia is one of the safest places in the world to give birth, with rates of stillbirth among the lowest internationally. However, for every 135 Australian births one baby is stillborn, according to a report released  by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

Stillbirths in Australia 1991-2009, is the first national report on stillbirths and examines the association between maternal, pregnancy and birth factors with stillbirth.

In Australia a 'stillbirth' is defined as the birth of a baby who shows no signs of life after a pregnancy of at least 20 weeks gestation or weighing 400 grams or more. In 2009, 2,341 babies were stillborn, accounting for almost three quarters of perinatal deaths. Congenital anomalies, or birth defects, are the most common cause of stillbirth in Australia, accounting for 21% of all stillbirths.

From 1991 to 2009, the stillbirth rate in Australia was between 6.4 and 7.8 per 1,000 births. The risk of stillbirth occurring between 28 and 41 weeks gestation dropped between 1991 and 2009, however there was an increase in the risk of stillbirths from 20-27 weeks.

Stillbirth rates have improved among Indigenous women-dropping from 15.5 per 1,000 births from 1991 to 1994 to 12.3 per 1,000 births from 2005 to 2009, but these rates are still higher than for non-Indigenous women.

Media release

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

healthinsite website has changed to healthdirect Australia

Consumer health website, health insite has been enhanced to provide easy access to health information, advice and services – online and over the phone.

To facilitate this enhanced online offering the name of the website has changed to healthdirect Australia. The website's content has increased to include the promotion of nurse triage and after hours GP helplines in addition to the existing health information and services. Company information has also been included.

Resources available include : Conditions, Symptoms, Healthy Lifestyle Advice, and information pertinent to certain Life Stages

Nursing and midwifery workforce 2013 and Medical workforce 2013 (AIHW)

Nursing and midwifery workforce 2013

This web report outlines the workforce characteristics of nurses and midwives in 2013. The total number of all nurses and midwives registered in Australia increased from 320,982 in 2009 to 344,190 in 2013 (7.2%). Between 2009 and 2013, the supply of registered nurses and midwives increased (from 917 to 971 FTE per 100,000 population), however the supply for enrolled nurses decreased (201 to 184 FTE per 100,000 population). In 2009 and 2013, there were more employed nurses and midwives in the 50-54 year age group (45,518 and 45,512, respectively) than any other age group. In 2003, however, the age group with the most employed nurses and midwives was the 45-49 year age group (43,386).

Medical workforce 2013

The supply of employed medical practitioners has remained steady since 2011, at about 380 FTE per 100,000 population. Prior to 2010, the supply of employed practitioners rose from 321 FTE per 100,000 population in 2004 to 354 per 100,000 population in 2009, an increase of 10.1%. The proportion of women among employed medical practitioners has increased steadily since 2004. In 2013, women made up 38.6% of the medical workforce.

Media release

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Latest Research from the Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing

Vol. 31, No. 4 2014 of the Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing is now available :

Feature articles include

* Sleep quality in the elderly either living at home or in a nursing home

* Introduction of a novel, nurse led prostate cancer education and testing service

* The effects of workplace bullying on physicians and nurses and promoting well being amongst nurses in critical care units.

* Tailoring dementia care mapping and reflective practice to empower Assistants in Nursing to provide quality care for residents with dementia.

* Violence against health care staff by peers and managers in a general hospital in Greece : a questionnaire based study.

Public Health Research & Practice

After 24 years, the "NSW Public Health Bulletin" is to close, to be relaunched as an open-access, peer-reviewed online-only journal, "Public Health Research & Practice".

The new journal has a broader public health focus, specialising in public health innovation in the provision of services.Free subscriptions to "Public Health Research & Practice"may be entered at the following link :

Monday, 8 September 2014

Mortality and life expectancy of Indigenous Australians 2008 to 2012 (AIHW)

Mortality and life expectancy of Indigenous Australians 2008 to 2012 provides an overview of current patterns and trends in mortality and life expectancy among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Circulatory diseases were the leading cause of death of Indigenous Australians for the period 2008–2012 (representing 26% of Indigenous deaths), followed by cancer (20%) and injury (15%). There have been significant declines in overall Indigenous mortality rates as well as mortality rates from circulatory diseases and respiratory diseases between 2001 and 2012. However, there has been little improvement in Indigenous mortality from other causes such as cancer and injury over this period.

Media release

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Mortality inequalities in Australia 2009-2011 (AIHW)

Mortality inequalities in Australia 2009–2011

Despite relatively high standards of health and health care in Australia, not all Australians fare equally well in terms of their health and longevity. Substantial mortality inequalities exist in the Australian population, in terms of overall mortality, and for most leading causes of death, and these inequalities are long-standing.

The death rate among Indigenous Australians was nearly twice that of non-Indigenous Australians. This was even more pronounced among Indigenous people aged 35-44 years, with a death rate five times as high as their non-Indigenous counterparts: 480 deaths per 100,000 Indigenous people aged 35-44 compared with 98 deaths per 100,000 non-Indigenous people aged 35-44.

People living in Remote and Very Remote areas had death rates 1.4 times as high as those for people living in Major Cities, and higher rates of death due to diabetes (3 times as high) and land transport accidents (4.7 times as high).

Media release

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Maternal deaths in Australia 2006-2010 (AIHW)

Maternal deaths in Australia 2006–10 is the 15th report on women who die during pregnancy and childbirth. Although maternal deaths are rare in Australia, they are catastrophic events when they do occur and require monitoring and investigation.

The report includes information about the women, pregnancy, and cause of death as well as good practice guidance points for clinicians to inform practice improvement.

Media release

Monday, 18 August 2014

Indigenous child safety

Indigenous children are over represented in areas where child safety and security are compromised. Indigenous child safety shows that Indigenous children aged 0–17 have higher rates of hospitalisations and deaths due to injury than non Indigenous children; are more likely to be victims of child abuse, neglect and sexual assault; and are over represented in homelessness and youth justice statistics.

Mortality from asthma and COPD in Australia (AIHW)

Asthma death rates in Australia are high compared with many other countries and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of deaths in Australia and internationally.

Mortality from asthma and COPD in Australia provides current information about mortality due to these conditions in Australia, examining trends over time, seasonal variation, international comparison and variation by age, sex, remoteness, Indigenous status, country of birth and socioeconomic disadvantage.

Media release

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2012-13 (AIHW)

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2012-13

Over 700 agencies provided over 160,000 treatment episodes for alcohol and other drug issues to an estimated 108,000 clients in Australia in 2012–13. Most episodes were for clients receiving treatment for their own drug use, and these clients tended to be male and in their 20s and 30s. Alcohol was the most common principal drug of concern, accounting for almost half of these closed episodes, and counselling was the most common type of treatment.

Media release

Oral health and dental care in Australia: key facts and figures trends 2014 (AIHW)

Oral health and dental care in Australia: key facts and figures trends 2014 highlights the key trends in oral health, which suggest there have been improvements over the long term but there is some cause for concern in recent years.

In adults, there was a decrease in the average number of teeth affected by decay from nearly 15 in 1987–88 to around 13 in 2004–06. From 1994 to 2010, however, the proportion reporting any adverse oral health impact generally increased and ranged from 31.4% in 1994 to a peak of 39.9% in 2008.

Media release

Friday, 15 August 2014

Health-care expenditure on arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions 2008-09 (AIHW)

Health-care expenditure on arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions 2008-09

Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions are substantial contributors to health-care expenditure in Australia. In 2008–09, estimated health-care expenditure allocated to these conditions totalled $5,690 million– the 4th most expensive disease group, accounting for 8.7% of total health-care expenditure allocated to disease groups.

This report is the latest in a series on arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions expenditure. The key objectives of this report are to describe the distribution of health-care expenditure by health-care sector for the major musculoskeletal conditions: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, back problems and osteoporosis.

Media release