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Government Federal, Medical Health Aged Care

National Health Survey shows prevention of chronic conditions is essential: PHAA

Public Health Association of Australia 2 mins read

15 December 2023

The Public Health Association of Australia has issued an urgent call to action to all levels of government to address the growing number of Australians living with chronic disease, following the release of alarming new data.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has today published the National Health Survey 2022, which shows that half of all Australian adults have a chronic health condition.

“This is a crisis that cannot be ignored,” said Public Health Association of Australia CEO, Adjunct Professor Terry Slevin.

“To arrest this trend, the Australian Government must ensure that the forthcoming Australian Centre for Disease Control (ACDC) prioritises the prevention of non-communicable diseases, and not just infectious diseases. To do so would be consistent with the election commitment on the ACDC.

“In good news, the proportion of adult current daily smokers has more than halved over the last two decades - a testament to Australia’s tobacco control legislation. Of course 10% is still too high, and the recent legislation passed last week will, we believe, drive further welcome reductions in smoking.

“However, the survey revealed that one in seven adults reported current use of e-cigarette and vaping devices. Other surveys have shown that this figure is higher among young people and continues to climb.”

The survey also showed that physical activity is decreasing, while overweight and obesity are increasing across all age groups.

“We cannot lose sight of the importance of daily physical activity and a whole-foods diet, which protect us from chronic disease,” Adj Prof Slevin said.

“We can make inroads into worrying physical activity trends through Government action which supports healthy living, such as investments in active travel, and making it easier for people to incorporate physical activity into their day.

“There are compounding benefits, since active travel improves peoples’ physical and mental health, and takes much needed action on climate change.

“The simple truth is that more attention needs to be given to prevention across the board.”



For further information/comment:

Paris Lord (he/him), PHAA Communications & Media Manager, 0478 587 917,  

Contact details:

Paris Lord (he/him), PHAA Communications & Media Manager, 0478 587 917,  


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