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The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has commenced the largest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health survey to improve knowledge of the health issues affecting Indigenous Australians.
This survey will expand on the 2004-05 survey by increasing the number of participants by 30%, and collecting new information on exercise, diet (including bush foods), and measures of cholesterol, blood glucose and iron.
For the first time, the ABS will directly measure obesity and blood pressure levels, as well as nutritional status and chronic disease. By combining self-reported information together with biomedical samples, a more complete picture of the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will be available. Importantly this will provide some information about the level of undiagnosed conditions, such as diabetes.
While the biomedical component of the survey is voluntary, ABS survey champion, Cathy Freeman, encourages people to get involved as, 'You will be helping your family, your community, and future generations to live longer, healthier lives'.
The survey will be conducted over 2012-13 across the country in cities and remote communities to create evidence to measure progress in improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and contributing to closing the gap in life expectancy.
The first survey results will be released in September 2013 and will be used by a wide range of Aboriginal organisations, health researchers, public health advocates, government departments, clinicians and community health organisations.
Further information and detailed questions and answers are available on the ABS website at the links below.
ABS Corporate Communication
1300 175 070