Aussies are Living Longer, Healthier and Happier Lives

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Reports suggest that Australias are living a longer and happier life. Reuters

Australians will be proud of the national health report released in 2014. The report, titled Australia's Health 2014, by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare showed that Australians are living longer, healthier and happier lives. This report is released every two years, and this year showed great improvement in the lives of the people.

Highlights of The Report

Australians' daily smoking rates are continuing to drop. Between 1964 and 2010 the rate of Australian adults who smoked dropped from 43 per cent to 16 per cent. Less young people are also taking up smoking. The report shows that, in 2001, about one-quarter of 18 to 24 year olds smoked daily-by 2010, this had fallen to 16 per cent.

According to the National Drug Strategy Household Survey, the number of people who have never drunk alcohol rose from 10.1 per cent to 12.1 per cent between 2007 and 2010.

Though news of cancer cases seem to be rising by the day, between 1991 and 2011, deaths from all cancers combined fell by 17 per cent and the five-year survival rate increased from 47 per cent in 1982-1987 to 66 per cent in 2006-2010. The report states that the reasons cancer death rates are falling include changes in exposure to cancer risks such as not smoking, improved primary prevention such as better sun protection, advances in cancer treatment and, for some cancers, earlier detection through screening programmes of the bowel, breast and cervix and other testing.

Heart attack rates from 2007 to 2011 have fallen 20 per cent and the rate of stroke events has dropped by 25 per cent between 1997 and 2009. The institute said that the Australians have one of the highest life expectancies in the world and can expect to live about 25 years longer, on average, than a century ago.

A baby boy born in 1901 would have lived to 55 years and a baby girl to 59 years and now, it's 80 for men and 84 years for women.

More than half of all Australians aged 15 and over considered themselves to be in "excellent" health, 11 per cent considered their health "fair", 50 per cent considered it "good" and only 4 per cent rated their health as "poor".

The institute said that vaccination is one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions. The percentage of 5-year-olds who've been vaccinated rose from 79 per cent to 92 per cent over the four years to 2012. 

In just over 20 years, the death rate from asthma has fallen from a peak of 6.6 per 100,000 people to 1.5 deaths. The rate of people being hospitalised for asthma has fallen by 38 per cent.

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