Australia’s Health Tracker, Australia’s Adult Health Tracker and Australia’s Children and Young People Health Tracker are report cards that provide a comprehensive assessment of the health of Australians in relation to chronic diseases and their risk factors.

The report cards will be issued regularly and will track progress towards the targets for a healthier Australia by 2025.

Launched at a national forum on 5 July 2016, over 50 public health organisations are signatories to Australia’s Health Tracker. The Forum’s key note speaker, Graham MacGregor, a Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, has praised the work and urged that Australia follow the lead of the United Kingdom in sugar and salt reform.

Compiled through the collaborative effort and expert guidance of leading Australian public health and chronic disease experts Australia’s Health Tracker has been developed and is published by the Australian Health Policy Collaboration at Victoria University.

Infographic

Infographic on Australia's adult health tracker 2016. A text alternative is provided on this page under the heading 'Infographic text alternative'.

Infographic text alternative

2016 - Australia's adult health tracker

A brief report card on preventable chronic diseases, conditions and their risk factors. Tracking progress for a healthier Australia by 2025. 

This report card looks at the health of Australians in relation to chronic diseases and their risk factors. Australias Adult Health Tracker will be issues regularly and will track progress towards the targes for a healthier Australia by 2025.

  • 1 in 2 Australians have a chronic disease.
  • Chronic diseases, like cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes are the leading cause of illness, disability and death in Australia.
  • Almost one third could be prevented by removing exposure to risk factors such as smoking, high body mass, alcohol use, physical inactivity and high blood pressure.
  • Despire the need... only 1.5% of spending (as a proportion of total health expenditure) is dedicated to prevention.
Obesity

Obesity continues to increase and Australia ranks as one of the worst amongst high-income countries.

Latest data: 27.9%. Target 2025: 24.6%.

Salt

On average Australias consume 62% over the recommended salt intake level.

Latest data: 8.1g (average daily consumption). Target 2025: 5.7g (average daily consumption). 

Cholesterol

High levels of LDL cholesterol is a risk factor for coronary heart disease. One in three non-Indigenous and one in four Indigenous Australians have high cholesterol. 

Latest data: 32.8%. Target 2025: 24.6%.

Blood pressure

The number of people with high blood pressure is increasing. Almost three-quarters of people with high blood pressure do not know they have it.

Latest data: 23%. Target 2025: 16.1%.

Smoking

Smoking rates are reducing but it remains a key cause of preventable death in Australia. 

Latest data: 12.8%. Target 2025: 10.6%.

Alcohol

Overall, the progress towards teh target is promising. Males are twice as likely as females to drink in a long-term risky mannger. 

Latest data: 18.2%. Target 2025: 18%. 

Physical inactivity

Physical inactivity increases risks for ischaemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.

Latest data: 44.5%. Target 2025: 40%.

Diabetes

1.2 million Australians are living with diabetes and the number is growing.

Latest data: 4.7%. Target 2025: 4.1%. 

Bowel cancer

Screening can help with early detection and prevention. More than one in three participate.

Latest data: 36%. Target 2020: 41%.

Breast cancer

Screening can help with early detection and prevention. Almost 1.5 million women participated in 2013/14.

Latest data: 53.7%. Target 2020: 54%.

Suicide

Suicide is the leading cause of death for 15-44 year olds and is more common among men, Indigenous people and people living outside of cities.

Latest data: 12 per 100,000. Target 2020: 9.8 per 100,000.

Early deaths from major chronic diseases

The death rate from cardiovascular diseases, common cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes for people ages 30-70 has significantly decreased.

Latest data: 207 per 100,000. Target 2025: 166 per 100,000.

Progress against targets

The following categories show poor progress against the target: obesity, blood pressure, diabetes, suicide.

The following categories show good progress against the target: smoking, alcohol, bowel cancer, breast cancer, early deaths from major chronic diseases.

The following categories show insufficient data to report on progress: salt, cholesterol, physical inactivity.

Note: 2020 targets were sometimes chosen in order to align with complementary Australian targets.

For further details, please see the accompanying report cards and technical documents available on the AHPC website: vu.edu.au/ahpc.

Copyright 2016 Australian Health Policy Collaboration.

Health tracker graphics

Download Australian Health Tracker graphics.