Wealthiest Aust postcodes the healthiest
Australia's wealthiest postcodes are the healthiest postcodes.
A new online health tool, Australia's Health Tracker by Area, has localised the state of our nation's health postcode by postcode.
It shows West Australians have relatively low rates of high blood pressure, at 9.3 per cent; Tasmania is soaring with 12.1 per cent have high blood pressure; and the Northern Territory has the highest rates of diabetes in the country at 7.1 per cent.
The sunshine state, Queensland, has topped the table for a high rates of obesity, 30.4 per cent, in Australia.
Launched in Melbourne on Thursday, it was developed by the Australian Health Policy Collaboration at Victoria University (VU) with the Public Health Information and Development Unit at Torrens University.
Leading health and social policy expert Rosemary Calder, director at the Australian Health Policy Collaboration, says the tracker is a resource available to media, health professionals, policy makers and residents.
By tracking localised data on specific risk factors, such as smoking, alcohol intake obesity and blood pressure, it's aimed at reducing the alarming rates of chronic diseases.
"One in every two Australians has a chronic disease, however roughly one third of these diseases are preventable," said Ms Calder.
"Australia's Health Tracker by Area is a call to action and a resource to help protect the most important asset in the country, our health," she said.
The latest data on adults living with diabetes shows Victoria has the best 10 local government areas with the lowest rates in the country.
Affluent, or wealthier, regions - like the Sydney suburb of Ku-Ring-Gai - are the healthiest in the nation.
Global public health expert, Professor Maximillian de Courten from VU says one pattern that has clearly emerged from the tracker is that the "wealthier postcodes are healthier postcodes."
"There is a social gradient when it comes to Australia's biggest killers like cancers, heart diseases and stroke and their risk factors like smoking and obesity" Prof de Courten said.
He hopes by localising such "abstract" data communities and neighbourhoods will be able to turn it into action to better their health, by looking at access to cycle paths or questioning the number of fast food outlets in their suburb.