Queenslanders are making healthier choices including smoking less, avoiding binge drinking and getting their kids vaccinated according to a new report released by the Chief Health Officer today.
Health Minister Steven Miles said The Health of Queenslanders 2018 reportrevealed a number of positive health outcomes for Queenslanders across the state.
“This report shows that we are living longer, we are less likely to die early from preventable causes and we are largely able to access the services we need to treat and manage our health issues.
“Most notably, this year’s report shows some significant achievements for prevention, including a further reduction in the rate of smoking, which has now fallen to 11 per cent.
“Since 2002, we have continued to see the prevalence of smoking decline thanks to the action that has been taken in Queensland and as a result, more than 300,000 people have avoided an early death.
“This is a considerable achievement considering smoking remains the leading cause of premature death and disease in Queensland.”
The report also found young men aged 18-29 years who consume alcohol at lifetime risky levels decreased by 31 per cent, while the prevalence of older men drinking excessively (65 years and over) rose by 32 per cent.
Mr Miles said it was great to see young Queensland men were changing their relationship with alcohol.
“Our government is committed to changing Queensland’s binge drinking culture and to improve access to drug treatment and support services for Queenslanders who need them,” Mr Miles said.
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young handed down the report at Parliament today and said the data would help inform future health service planning.
“Looking back over the last 10 years we can see continued improvement in the health of Queenslanders,” Dr Young said.
“The report shows that change is occurring in Queensland – we are becoming more informed and empowered to reduce our health risks and our state is becoming a healthier place to live.
“While it’s great to see some very positive changes, we know there is still more work to do, particularly to address preventable diseases and the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and others.”
Dr Young said the 2018 report also showed:
- Risky alcohol consumption is decreasing in young males but increasing in older males.
- 43 per cent of 5-6 year old children have decay experience in their primary teeth.
- Almost half of Queensland children are having sweet snacks, salty snacks or confectionary, every day.
- Queensland has the highest melanoma rates in the country and the Australian rates are 11 times the global average.
- Only 56 per cent of women in the target age range participate in the BreastScreen Queensland program, and a similar proportion are screened for cervical cancer.
- 14 per cent of Queenslanders aged 14 years and older had used an illicit drug in the past 12 months (mostly cannabis) and 5 per cent had misused pharmaceuticals.
- Immunisation coverage rates are high and reaching the target of 95 per cent.
- 11.5 per cent of women were diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
- For 18-29 year olds, 23 per cent were obese by measurement and 17 per cent were overweight.
The Health of Queenslanders 2018 is the seventh in the series from Queensland’s Chief Health Officer which began in 2006.
To view the full report, visit www.health.qld.gov.au/research-reports/reports/public-health/cho-report
Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
The Honourable Steven Miles