Sociodemographic Health Risks in Australia

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23rd Mar 2018 Health Reference this

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Australians regard the country environment a better and safer option in terms of lifestyle and health then populated areas, such as cities and their surrounding neighborhoods (Humphreys & Rolley 1991). Moving to rural areas for a much cleaner atmosphere and away from the congestion of traffic. Nevertheless families or individuals who built life for themselves in rural and remote Australia have many health disadvantages in their path, then civilization in city areas and its regions. This is proven statistically with evidence and research that mobility and mortality rates are much higher than those who live in urban areas due to some extensive diseases that can’t be further examined in rural areas to give a full diagnosis and asses their condition due to shortage of resources and medical equipment (Humphreys et al. 1997) . There are many factors that contribute to rural health disadvantages in different specifications in relation to his/her health. This essay will be looking into the four major factors that include, sociodemographics, health status’, health risk factors, costs and use of health services.

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Sociodemographics refers to the variables within a society and its population in terms of race, gender, socio economic statuses and mainly the population’s social wellbeing in both rural and remote Australia. Socioeconomic disadvantages and demographics of the area and its population are major and important determinants of health (AIHW, 2012). It is important to realise the main indicators such as age, health statuses, rates of hospitalisation and mortality rates for rural populations of Australia are determined by certain demographics such as sex and population size, this process is essential to clarify different health statistics (AIHW, 1998a). These points are indications in relation to poorer health, adequate nutrition, better housing and having an education with transport (AIHW,1998), to support your travel needs wither health related or not. Privation of either of these necessities will result in dramatically poorer health. Keeping in mind that if sufficient nutrition is not reachable or used it will have an immediate effect on health status. Needs like education have more of an indirect effect on health (AIHW, 1998). For instance having no educational background can result in the lack of knowledge about certain health conditions like cancer, in rural Australia there are insufficient resources to determine and treat breast cancer, cervical cancer and lung cancer which results from individuals smoking and affecting their health not being health conscious which greatly results in higher death rates (Mathers, 1994).

The factors that contribute to the health of a population include social, economic, environmental and an array of lifestyle choices (AIHW, 2012). A number of factors are linked with livelihoods in rural Australia that subsequently affect health status. Factors that affect health status of given population in rural Australia include: employment, ethnicity, business grounds in rural areas other factors are from a demographic point of view looking at climate, geography, aging populations and retrieval of information in relation to health and disability (Frager et al, 1997), (AIHW,2012). These factors take different effects within rural and metropolitan Australia and may result in dissimilarities in the prevalence of an array of diseases and mortality rates (AIHW, 1998a). Australia’s indigenous population are facing poorer health then the overall Australian population. The effect is recognised by numerical categorisation of indigenous people in RRMA sub sections and by use of mortality data collected and put in Australia’s institute of health and welfare database of mortality (AIHW, 2013). Mortality rates in capital cities was lower than those in rural and remote zones of Australia (AIHW, 1998a). There are different of health outcomes regularly used as indicators for given health populations (AIHW, 2012). Death rates, hospitalisation and cancer incidence rates are all a set of indicators for health status (AIHW, 1998a). 

Health risks are the probable factors that decline the health of people from certain medical conditions or diseases. These comprise of certain factors such as their physical environment, pollutants, and communicable diseases, additionally the social environment plays an important part, family matters and disturbances (AIHW, 2003). These all result in the amplification of different diseases affecting people’s health (AIHW, 2013). Behavioral determinants such as inadequate exercise, smoking and reduction of daily activities are linked with increase in disease rates and other medical conditions. Living in rural Australia would be a negative outcome for most when asked simply by being away from health facilities, such as gyms occupying for exercise, doctor surgeries for quick treatment and having less produce stores to buy your five daily fruits and veg’s from for your daily intake. Risk factors are the probable outcomes of disease in people if there’s a link with the medical condition and factor. Other risk factors for chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease are very complicated to determine. Generally speaking there is not one specific cause to a diseases occurrence rate, there are several factors that need to be assessed before making any thorough diagnosis. Understanding certain aspects in risk factors both rural, regional and remote Australia is the key fundamental in going forward as a nation helping individuals in need.

Costs and the utilization of health services across remote and rural Australia is a topic often brought up in the parliamentary senate of Australian states. The idea behind these parliamentary debates are to enhance and better the performance of Australia as a whole country by mending all those gaps that have been left such as expenditure and utilization of health services across rural and remote Australia. The government of Australia has said a lot and personally haven’t done anything to assist with introducing new health resources and supporting the coasts for medical equipment and building safer roads for rural and remote areas so individuals are less likely prone to an accident, therefore it builds better health measures and reduces mortality rates due to degrading the risk factors associated with it. Expenditure levels, amid regions are certainly related with changes in population’s growth size and composition (AIHW), (2011). A district or region with a greater population are highly likely to have immense total health expenditures then places with lower populations. The age structure of a given population in a specific location is a vital factor in health expenditure, (AIHW), (2011). Reason is due to older individuals and youngsters such as infants and toddlers require greater health diagnosis and care. In remote and rural Australia regions usually consist of younger group sectors in populations then older pupils, (AIHW), (2011). Health care facilities such as hospitals which are the main source of receiving health assessments from ED doctors or getting an x-ray for a broken leg. Procedures in hospitals are surgical and non-surgical whilst they require chemotherapy for cancer patients or even specialist checkups on your health condition to prevent it from actually getting worse. The remoteness of hospitals from rural and regional populations in Australia may impact their access to procedures, (AIHW), (2008). Levels of health expenditure are widely affected by certain sub factors such as the degree of illnesses and diseases, population and government set out policies and grants alongside the price for these goods and services, (AIHW 2004).

Inconclusion for the population of remote and rural Australia there are many positive attributes. In comparison to the National Health Survey they have gathered data that indicates Australians, regardless of their geographical region, have knowledge of certain preventative measures for a better health, and understand the requirement for exercise to keep fit physically and mentally, pap smear tests and protection from the sun by using certain moisturisers to help prevent melanoma or other skin cancers conditions (AIHW, 2011). In addition the health of populations in rural and remote zones of Australia is much poorer then individuals who live in metropolitan regions of Australia. In relation to their health conditions such as mortality as a result of injury obtained, certain heart conditions and diseases, homicide and suicide rates. Overall there are substantial health risks associated with living in remote and rural regions of Australia among them are pollution, road safety, available health facilities, and medical equipment with treatments. However there are positives for the populations of rural and remote zones such as having peace, costs are much lesser then urban areas, less crime and a safer environment with distance from noise.

Reference list:

Humphreys J/ Rolley F (1991). Health and health care in rural Australia. (Original work published 1991). Retrieved from

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CD, M. (1994). Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: Health Monitoring Series.Health differentials among adult Australians aged 25–64 years(1st ed.) Canberra , Australia

Fragar LJ, Gray EJ, Franklin RJ & Petrauskas V (1997). A picture of health? A preliminary report of the health of country Australians. The Australian Agricultural Health Uni, Volumes 1 & 2

Kathleen Strong/ Phil Trickett/ Ian Titulaer/Kuldeep Bhatia (1998). Socio demographics. Health in rural and remote Australia (Phe (6) the ed., pp. 8-15/23/69/115/186). (Original work published 1998). Retrieved from

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2012). Determinants of health. In Tony Francis/ Stephen Hogan/ Helen Tse /Karen Hobson /Andrew Smith (Ed.),Australia’s health 2012(13th ed., pp. 11). (Original work published

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