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Older people

50 years and over

Health risk factors

This section presents statistics about health risk factors linked to behaviour such as alcohol use, smoking, physical activity, weight and diet.

Smoking

In 2018–19, among Indigenous Australians aged 50 and over:

  • 36% (48,300) were current daily smokers.
  • 2% (2,600) smoked less than daily.
  • 36% (48,500) were ex-smokers.
  • 26% (35,800) had never smoked (Figure OP 19).
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Alcohol

In 2018–19, among Indigenous Australians aged 50 and over:

  • 39% (51,000) had never consumed alcohol or last consumed alcohol more than 12 months ago.
  • 40% (52,900) consumed more than 4 standard drinks on a single occasion in the previous year, exceeding the guidelines for single occasion risk.
  • Males (51% or 31,400) were more likely to exceed short-term alcohol risk than females (30% or 21,400) (Figure OP 20a).

In 2018–19, among Indigenous Australians aged 50 and over:

  • 20% (26,100) consumed more than 2 standard drinks per day on average in the last week, exceeding the guidelines for lifetime risk.
  • Males (28% or 17,000) were more likely to exceed lifetime risk than females (12% or 8,600) (Figure OP 20b).
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Weight

In 2018–19, among Indigenous Australians aged 50 and over:

  • 16% (22,200) were within the normal weight range.
  • Those living in remote areas were more likely to be within the recommended weight range than those living in non-remote areas (Figure OP 21).
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Physical activity

In 2018–19, 12% (13,100) of the Indigenous Australians aged 50 and over who lived in non-remote areas met the physical activity guidelines.

Indigenous males aged 50 and over (13% or 6,500) were slightly more likely to meet the physical activity guidelines than Indigenous females (11% or 6,200) (Figure OP 22).

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Diet

In 2018–19, among Indigenous Australians aged 50 and over:

  • 4% (4,900) met the daily fruit and vegetable intake guidelines.
  • 39% (52,600) met fruit guidelines only.
  • 2% (2,600) met vegetable guidelines only (Figure OP 23).
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