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AIHW Australia’s Health 2018 – Report Summary

The Nature of Australia’s Health 2018

  • The life expectancy for males is 80.4 years and 84.6 years for females, with close to 10 years of our lives being lived in ill-health
  • The estimated population of Australi in 2018 is 25.2 million, with almost 4 million people over the aged of 65 years
  • Total health expenditure was $170 billion in 2015–16 of which, two thirds is government funding
  • In 2016, 25% of nurses or midwives were over the age of 55 years
  • Roughly 32% of mental health nurses and 44% of psychiatrists were aged 55 and over
  • Dementia is the second leading burden of disease for people aged between 75-95 years and the leading burden of disease in people aged 95 +
  • The leading cause of death for people aged 75 and over is coronary heart disease, followed by dementia, however dementia is the leading cause of death for females
  • In 2018 it is estimated that over 370, 000 people are living with dementia, which is expected to increase to 550, 000 by 2030
  • The prevalence of dementia is 2 to 3 times higher in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population
  • 22,200 people aged 65 and over were admitted to hospital in New South Wales in 2015–16 with dementia as the principal diagnosis or comorbidity
  • Falls was the leading cause of hospitalisations in 2015 with the highest rates of falls in people above the age of 75 years
  • People over the age of 65 are the most likely to experience social exclusion in all age groups
  • In 2014–15, among people aged 65–74, 72% of women were insufficiently active; this increased to 92% for people aged 85 and over. For men aged 65–74, 73% were insufficiently active, and this was similar for people aged 85 and over (74%)
  • Men were most likely to be obese at age 65–74 (38%). Women were most likely to be overweight but not obese at age 75–84 (41%), and obese at age 55–64 (35%)
  • For people aged 65 years and over, the most commonly dispensed medications were for high cholesterol, reducing risk of heart attack and stroke as well as medications for stomach ulcers and stomach acid reduction.
  • 21% of emergency department presentations were people aged 65 years and over

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2018). Australia’s Health 2018. Retrieved from