Department of Health

Your health - biennial report

Report of the Chief Health Officer.

Your Health is a comprehensive biennially released report on the health and wellbeing of the Victorian population. This report is a legislative requirement under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008.

This publication provides a comprehensive picture of the health and wellbeing of Victorians, drawing on a wide range of population-based data. This report also informs policy and planning about areas of need, progress with existing initiatives and emerging issues in Victoria.

  • Welcome to Your health: Report of the Chief Health Officer, Victoria, 2019.

    This is the eighth report published by the Chief Health Officer of Victoria, and covers the year of 2019.

    This edition of Your health report highlights that global climate change is increasingly impacting Victoria’s health.

    In 2019-20, the impact of the Eastern Victorian bushfires was significant. Five lives were lost, thousands displaced, and numerous communities temporarily isolated. In addition to devastating bushfires, climate change is also contributing to more extreme heat days, and an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall events. Direct health impacts of such events are outlined throughout the report, and these effects will increase unless urgent, sustained action is taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    At a broader level, this Your Health report, presents an overview of population profile, highlights health inequalities across Victorian populations and measures Victoria’s overall burden of disease. The report also outlines how the health of Victorians is shaped by a complex interaction between, health behaviours, genetic inheritance, access to quality healthcare and the social determinants of health. 

    Finally, the report reflects on a series of chapters that consider environmental health, healthy living, maternal and infant health, child health, communicable disease, non-communicable disease, mental health, injury prevention and oral health.

  • This is the seventh biennial report published by the Chief Health Officer of Victoria, and the first since I commenced in this role in 2019. 

    This report, a requirement of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008, provides a snapshot of the health of Victorians in 2018. It presents information from several sources and highlights key topics to paint a broad picture of the health of Victorians. The articles in each section are not an exhaustive examination of each topic; rather they present an overview of each topic with links to other reports if readers would like a more detailed understanding of the topic.

    For the first time, this report is presented in an online format. This allows us to link to other reports and to provide digital content. In some cases, this digital content is updated daily, which means you can obtain up-to-date and specific data.

    Read the Your health: Report of the Chief Health Officer, Victoria, 2018

  • Keeping Victorians as well as they can be is important for individuals, families and the community. It is also crucial for a healthy, productive workforce and a strong economy.

    Your health: Report of the Chief Health Officer, Victoria, 2016 provides an overview of the health and wellbeing of Victorians, as well as the determinants of health in Victoria. It identifies the health issues facing Victorians, and is a starting point in considering policy and government investments for improving people's health. It provides a strong basis for a concerted effort to reduce health inequalities and improve the health status of Victorians by tackling the enormous burden of, and the steady increase in, preventable diseases.

    This report is the sixth report by Victoria's Chief Health Officer and covers the two-year period to June 2016.

    The report is spilt into two parts. Part 1 gives an overview of Victoria's health, drawing on the particular challenges that health inequalities pose within our community. The 2014 report was the first to include a focus chapter and this report builds on this concept with a focus chapter reflecting key components of health inequalities and how they affect Victorians.

    Part 2 uses the National Health Performance Framework to address selected health indicators. The indicators selected are based on readily available data that have been measured over time. Since the data is collated from a variety of sources, reporting periods differ for the various indicators.

    Determinants of health

    The determinants of health impact health outcomes at an individual and population level. This report begins by first considering upstream factors that contribute to health outcomes such as the environment and social factors before narrowing down to reflect on health behaviours and constitutional factors.

    Health status

    This report details the overall wellbeing of Victorians, the prevalence of health conditions (grouped into non-communicable diseases, communicable diseases and oral health) and mortality data as indicators for health.

    Health system interventions

    Finally, the report reflects on a series of chapters that consider health service utilisation. Immunisation, screening and biomedical checks are all reported on.

    This report meets the requirements of s. 21(c) of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008.

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  • Overview

    Keeping Victorians as well as they can be is important for individuals, families and the community. It is also crucial for a healthy, productive workforce and a strong economy.

    This report, Victoria’s health, is the fifth report in what was formerly the Your health series, covering the two-year period to June 2014. It has been prepared to meet the requirements of s. 21(c) of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008. The report provides an overview of the health and wellbeing of Victorians, as well as the determinants of health in Victoria. It is structured to reflect the National health performance framework, which incorporates indicators across a wide range of health dimensions (AIHW 2012a). The data contained within this report are collated from a variety of sources, and therefore reporting periods differ for the various indicators.

    The information in this report is a valuable overview of the health issues that Victoria faces. It can provide an important starting point in considering policy and government investments for improving the health of the Victorian population. Indicators have been selected based on those that have readily available data that have been measured over time. The report provides a strong basis for a concerted public health effort to reduce health inequalities and further improve the health status of Victorians by tackling the enormous burden of, and the steady increase in, preventable diseases.

    For the first time, this report includes a chapter focusing on a specific aspect of the health and wellbeing of Victorians, including policy initiatives to improve this. The chapter, which this year concentrates on nutrition and health, has been developed in conjunction with the nutrition team in the department’s Population Health and Prevention Strategy Branch.

    Health Status

    This domain consists of four dimensions that cover a range of indicators summarising the impact of disease and injury on the wellbeing of Victorians. The indicators provide an overall measure of population health, which may be either wholly or partially attributable to health service intervention:
    • health conditions – measured through the prevalence of disease, disorder, injury or trauma or other health-related state
    • human function – measures alterations to body structure or function (impairment), activity limitations and restrictions in participation
    • wellbeing – includes measures of physical, mental and social wellbeing
    • deaths – includes mortality rates and life expectancy measures.

    Determinants of Health

    The determinants of health make an impact at the individual and/or population level. They are key to the prevention of disease and injury and help explain and predict trends and inequalities in health status. They can be behavioural, biomedical, socioeconomic or environmental. Determinants of health can have an effect late in the causal pathway (such as tobacco smoking) or further upstream via a number of intermediaries (such as socioeconomic status and environmental factors). This domain organises indicators under four dimensions:
    • environmental factors – includes physical, chemical and biological factors such as air, water, food and soil quality
    • community and socioeconomic – measures community factors such as social capital, support services and socioeconomic factors such as housing, education, employment and income
    • health behaviours – includes attitudes, beliefs, knowledge and behaviours such as patterns of eating, physical activity, smoking and alcohol consumption
    • biomedical factors – incorporates genetic-related susceptibility to disease and other factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels and body weight.
  • Overview

    This is the fourth publication in a series of biennial reports that provide a comprehensive picture of the health and wellbeing of Victorians. It has been developed to meet the requirements of s. 21(c) of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 and covers the period to June 2012.

    The information in this report is a valuable overview of the health issues that Victoria faces. It is an ideal starting point on which to build policy and government investments for improving the health of the Victorian population. This report provides a strong basis for a concerted public health effort to reduce health inequalities and further improve the health status of Victorians by tackling the burden of preventable diseases.

    Overall, the report shows that Victorians generally enjoy good health compared with other Australians; however, it also reveals health issues and differentials in health outcomes between areas and population groups.

    Your health: The Chief Health Officer’s report 2012 has been structured using the National health performance framework 2009 and provides an overview of the health of Victorians, in particular their health status and the factors that determine their health.

    Health status

    This domain covers the four dimensions of health status, bringing together a range of indicators that summarise the impact of disease and injury on the wellbeing of Victorians. The indicators provide an overall measure of population health, which may be either wholly or partially attributable to health service intervention:

    1. Wellbeing: Includes measures of physical, mental and social wellbeing.
    2. Health conditions: Measured through the prevalence of disease, disorder, injury or trauma or other health-related state.
    3. Human function: Measures alterations to body structure or function (impairment), activity limitations and restrictions in participation.
    4. Deaths: Includes mortality rates and life expectancy measures.

    Determinants of health

    The determinants of health impact at the individual or population level. They are key to the prevention of disease and injury and help explain and predict trends and inequalities in health status. They can be behavioural, biomedical, socioeconomic or environmental. Determinants of health can impact late in the causal pathway (such as tobacco smoking) or further upstream via a number of intermediaries (such as socioeconomic status and environmental factors). This domain organises indicators under four dimensions:

    1. Health behaviours: Includes attitudes, beliefs, knowledge and behaviours such as patterns of eating, physical activity, smoking and alcohol consumption.
    2. Biomedical factors: Incorporates genetic-related susceptibility to disease and other factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels and body weight.
    3. Community and socioeconomic: Measures community factors such as social capital, support services and socioeconomic factors such as housing, education, employment and income.
    4. Environmental factors: Includes physical, chemical and biological factors such as air, water, food and soil quality.

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  • Your Health: The Chief Health Officer’s report 2010 is the third publication in a series of biennial reports that provide a comprehensive picture of the health and wellbeing of Victorians.

    It has been developed to meet the requirements of Section 21(c) of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 and covers the period to December 2009.

    New structure to 2010 report

    As in the 2005 and 2007 editions, this report provides information on the general health status of Victorians and the determinants of health. But it is structured differently to reflect the National Health Performance Framework 2009, which incorporates new health themes and indicators across a wide range of health dimensions.

    National Health Performance Framework 2009

    The National Health Performance Framework 2009 forms the basis for the structure of the 2010 report. It was selected as an appropriate structure because it provides a comprehensive overview of health for reporting purposes.

    The framework encompasses domains for health status and the determinants of health, as well as a third domain that focuses on health-system interventions that influence health status and the determinants of health, both for individuals and at the population level.

    This report focuses on the domains of health status and the determinants of health only.

  • Your Health: A report on the health of Victorians 2007 is the second in a series of biennial reports from the Office of the Chief Health Officer. This publication provides a comprehensive picture of the health and wellbeing of Victorians, drawing on a wide range of population-based data.

    Information in the series informs policy and planning for the improvement of health and wellbeing in Victoria.

    Additional features of the 2007 report

    Your Health 2007 expands on the previous edition and incorporates new sections. These include:

    • oral health of Victorians
    • screening participation of the Victorian population
    • health and the environment
    • population subgroups.

    Population subgroups

    A key feature of this edition is population subgroups, which contains information about the health of refugee, prison, culturally and linguistically diverse, and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations.

    This new section also contains chapters on the mothers’ and children’s health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, and rural and regional health.

    Main topics

    Overall, the 2007 report has six main topics:

    • health status
    • health-related behaviours
    • determinants of health
    • health outcomes
    • health and the environment
    • population subgroups.
  • Your Health: A report on the health of Victorians 2005 is the first publication of a biannual series of reports issued by the Office of the Chief Health Officer.

    The release of this first report had two important functions:

    • to provide a single access point for a wide range of the most significant and up-to-date health-related data available in Victoria about the health of Victorians
    • to coincide with a number of key government policies aimed at delivering better health and wellbeing outcomes for all Victorians.
    • Section 1: General health status
    • Section 2: Health-related behaviours
    • Section 3: Health priority areas
    • Section 4: Environmental and social health
    • Section 5: Health inequalities.

    Five sections

    This report has five sections:

    General health status

    Section 1 includes health status and health outcomes indicators on burden of disease, life expectancy at birth, avoidable mortality, ambulatory care sensitive conditions, and self-reported health.

    Section 2 presents information on risk factors and health-related behaviours for the selected public health indicators of smoking, nutrition, alcohol and physical inactivity among adults.

    Health priority areas

    Section 3 contains information on national health priority areas, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, asthma, injury and poisoning, mental health, and selected musculoskeletal conditions. Mothers’ and children’s health and key communicable diseases indicators are also presented.

    Environmental and social health

    Section 4 provides indicators of air quality developed with the Environment Protection Authority, and Legionella indicators developed with the environmental health program area (Public Health) of the Department of Health & Human Services. Social and community indicators such as volunteering and trust are based on the Victorian Population Health Survey 2004, while indicators on weekly earnings, employment, crime rate, and housing are based on the ABS data.

    Health inequalities

    Section 5 presents indicators on key issues of Aboriginal health, using the ABS and hospital separations data in Victoria. Health-related behaviours and health outcomes are stratified by quintiles of Index of Relative Socioeconomic Disadvantage obtained by the ABS to identify differentials in the health of Victorians by socioeconomic factors. Differentials in rural health are described, using the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia.

Reviewed 22 December 2022

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Population Health Insight Unit Victorian Agency for Health Information

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