Asthma & COPD Mortality in Australia

Asthma death rates in Australia are high compared with many other countries and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of deaths in Australia and internationally.’  A new report published by  the Australian Institute of Health and available by clicking on the more information button  ‘provides current information about mortality due to these conditions in Australia, examining trends over time, seasonal variation, international comparison and variation by age, sex, remoteness, Indigenous status, country of birth and socioeconomic disadvantage.’

‘Deaths due to Asthma:

  • occur in all age groups but increase with age in both males and females
  • are higher in females compared to males aged 35 and over, but similar in males and females aged 5-34
  • peak in late winter for those aged 64 and over.

Death rates due to COPD:

  • approximately halved between 1979 and 2011 among males
  • increased between 1979 and 1997 among females and then declined
  • increase with age and are almost double in males compared to females
  • are lowest in late summer and usually highest in the late winter months

The report also identified that deaths due to Asthma and COPD are higher in:

  • people from English-speaking compared to non-English-speaking countries of birth
  • people residing in Remote areas of Australia compared to Major cities
  • Indigenous Australians compared to non-Indigenous Australians
  • people residing in areas of greatest socioeconomic disadvantage’

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