AIHW Board AIHW senior staff Annual report Capability statement Collaboration AIHW corporate plan 2015-16 to 2018-19 Customer care charter FOI - freedom of information Indexed list of files Organisation chart Presentations Privacy of data Public consultation Public Interest Disclosure Strategic Directions 2011-2014 Tenders
By category Ageing, disability & carers Families & children Hospitals Housing & homelessness Indigenous Australians Population groups Risk factors, diseases & death Services, workforce & spending
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular disease Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases
Chronic kidney disease Chronic respiratory conditions COPD Deaths Dementia Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition Health indicators Health performance Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Injury Life expectancy
Male health Mental health Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Primary health care Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Data Publications Contact AIHW
Publications CatalogueOrdering publicationsForthcoming publications Online reports Rate our publication effectivenessSubscribe to release notices
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs AIHW annual reports Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular disease Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases Chronic kidney disease
Chronic respiratory conditions Corporate publications Data linkage Data standards Deaths Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition General practice Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Indigenous housing
Injury Life expectancy Male health Mental health services Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Primary health carePrisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Subjects Data Contact AIHW
About AIHW data METeOR—metadata online registry Data by subject Catalogue of holdings of AIHW data Customised data analysis request Data governance framework Data linking Data standards GovHack Privacy of data Accessing Australian Government health and welfare data
By subjectAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework Adoptions Aged care Alcohol and other drugs Alcohol data sources Body weight data sources Cancer Children's headline indicators (CHI) Child protection Chronic disease indicators Data sources for monitoring health conditionsDeaths Disability
Expenditure FHBH - Fixing houses for better health General Record of Incidence of Mortality (GRIM) books Height and weight data sources Hospitals Indigenous Australians International collaboration Maternity Information Matrix (MIM) Medical indemnity Mental health Mortality Over Regions and Time (MORT) books National Aged Care Data Clearinghouse
National core maternity indicators (NCMI) National framework for protecting Australia’s children (NFPAC) National indicator catalogue National Youth Information Framework (NYIF) Perinatal data Primary Health Network (PHN) Risk factors statistics Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) Tobacco data sources Workforce
In other sections Subjects Publications Contact AIHW
AACR ACFADD AHSAC AIHW Board AIHW Ethics Committee AODTS NMDS WG CKDMAC CMAG CSDWG CVDMAC HEAC
IGIHM JJ RIG MHISSC NAGATSIHID NCIAG NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG NMDD
NMDS NMHPSC NOPSAD NPDDC NPHEP NPHIC PCDWG PDWG PHIDG PHIG REDWG Workforce committees YIAG
Education worksheets Infographics What's in the pipeline Subscribe to education notices Other educational links
Worksheets by subject All Latest Ageing Australia's health Australia's welfare Carers
Children & youth Disability Disease Drugs
Health Health prevention Indigenous Australians Injury
In other sections Subjects Data Publications Contact AIHW
Job vacancies How to apply for a position at the AIHW Conditions of employment Benefits of working for the AIHW Temporary employment register Occupational Training Program Contact the People Unit Graduates
AIHW Access magazine Media releases Subscribe to release notices Embargoed access to AIHW material Media contacts
You are here:
About half of all Australians have a chronic disease, and around 20% have at least two, according to new data released online today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The release covers eight chronic diseases: arthritis, asthma, back problems, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and mental health conditions.
'When two or more diseases occur at the same time, it is referred to as 'comorbidity', said AIHW spokesperson Louise York.
'Sometimes these diseases occur together simply by chance, but often it's because there are some associations between them, such as shared risk factors.'
Ageing is a factor that has a particularly strong association with comorbidity.
'Older people are more vulnerable to developing many diseases, and Australians' increasing life expectancy means a greater chance for multiple conditions to arise,' Ms York said.
Nearly 40% of Australians aged 45 and over have two or more of the eight chronic diseases examined in today's release.
'For this age group, the two most common chronic diseases to occur in combination with any other chronic disease were arthritis and cardiovascular disease,' Ms York said.
'When looking at particular combinations of diseases in this age group, we found that arthritis and cardiovascular disease occurred together most frequently, in 16% of the population, followed by arthritis and back problems (10%) and back problems and cardiovascular disease (8%).'
Among the younger age group (0-44 years), mental health conditions and back problems were the most common comorbidities, followed by mental health and asthma, and back problems and asthma.
'Comorbidities are associated with poorer health outcomes, more frequent use of health services, and higher healthcare costs,' Ms York said.
'But studying comorbidities allows preventive, management and treatment services to be better planned to meet the needs of those affected.'
The web pages are available at http://www.aihw.gov.au/chronic-diseases.
The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare.
Canberra, 12 August
Further information: Ms Louise York, AIHW, tel. 02 6244 1271, mob. 0418 271 395