Healthy Communities: Life Expectancy and Potentially Avoidable Deaths in 2013–2015 - Report - Potentially avoidable deaths

Healthy Communities: Life Expectancy and Potentially Avoidable Deaths in 2013–2015

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Potentially avoidable deaths

Potentially avoidable deaths are those that occur prematurely – before the age of 75 – from causes that might have been avoided through the provision of care and/or treatment through existing primary or hospital care. The causes are based on nationally agreed definitions (AIHW 2017).

Information on potentially avoidable deaths is used as an indicator of the effectiveness of the health system, including hospital, primary and community care (Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, 2017).

During 2013–2015, there were almost 80,000 potentially avoidable deaths in Australia, accounting for 17% of all deaths over this period.

However, between 2009–2011 and 2013–2015, the age-standardised rate of potentially avoidable deaths decreased from 117 to 108 deaths per 100,000 people (Figure 4).

The rate of potentially avoidable deaths in women is nearly half that of men. However, rates of potentially avoidable deaths for both women and men decreased between 2009–2011 and 2013–2015 from 84 to 77 per 100,000 for women, and from 151 to 139 per 100,000 for men.

Variation across Australia

During 2013–2015, the age-standardised rate of potentially avoidable deaths varied by 164 deaths per 100,000 people across PHN areas. The rate ranged from 226 deaths per 100,000 people in the Northern Territory to 62 per 100,000 in Northern Sydney (Figure 5).

Between 2009–2011 and 2013–2015, the rate of potentially avoidable deaths decreased in most PHN areas. The greatest decrease was seen in Western Queensland, from 213 to 194 deaths per 100,000 people.

However, the rate of potentially avoidable deaths increased in some PHN areas. The greatest increase over this time was in the Northern Territory, from 219 to 226 deaths per 100,000 people (Figure 6).

Variation across metropolitan and regional areas

On average, during from 2013–2015, metropolitan PHN areas had a lower rate of potentially avoidable deaths (96 deaths per 100,000 people) than regional PHN areas (129 per 100,000) (Figure 5).

Between 2009–2011 and 2013–2015, the average rate of potentially avoidable deaths for all metropolitan areas decreased slightly, from 106 to 96 deaths per 100,000 people. Similarly, the average rate across all regional areas also decreased, from 138 to 129 per 100,000 over this time (Figure 6).

Figure 4: Number of potentially avoidable deaths (age-standardised), per 100,000 people by sex, 2009–2011 to 2013–2015

The following link expands the table data. Show tabular data Hide tabular data
Reporting period Males Females Persons
2009–2011 151 84 117
2010–2012 144 81 113
2011–2013 141 79 110
2012–2014 139 78 108
2013–2015 139 77 108
Notes:
  1. Potentially avoidable deaths are deaths below the age of 75 from conditions that are potentially preventable through individualised care and/or treatable through existing primary or hospital care.
  2. Rates have been age-standardised to facilitate comparisons between populations with different age structures.
Source:
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) National Mortality Database (NMD) and Australian Bureau of Statistics ERP.

Figure 5: Potentially avoidable deaths (age-standardised), per 100,000 people by Primary Health Network area, 2013–2015

The following image is a map of Australia showing the Potentially avoidable deaths (age-standardised), per 100,000 people by Primary Health Network area, 2013–2015. Data can be found in the table below.

The following is a legend for the maps detailed on this page. The first row shows the various colour ranges, the second is the relevant colour's range value and the third indicates which end is highest and lowest.
62 – 95
96 – 104
105 – 120
121 – 131
132 – 226
Lowest group
Highest group
Primary Health Network boundary
CAPITAL CITY
Image showing the estimated number of years a person is expected to live at birth across Primary Health Network (PHN) areas for 2013–15.
The following is an image of maps around major cities showing the estimated number of years a person is expected to live at birth by PHN area in 2013–15. Data can be found in the table below.
The following link expands the table data. Show tabular data Hide tabular data
PHN area State Persons
All regional PHN areas 129
Northern Territory NT 226
Western Queensland QLD 194
Western NSW NSW 156
Country WA WA 137
Northern Queensland QLD 134
Darling Downs & West Moreton QLD 132
Murrumbidgee NSW 130
Tasmania TAS 130
Hunter New Eng. & Cent. Coast NSW 129
North Coast NSW 128
Gippsland VIC 125
Murray VIC/NSW 121
Country SA SA 120
Western Victoria VIC 117
Central Qld, Wide Bay & Sunshine Coast QLD 116
South Eastern NSW NSW 114
All metro PHN areas 96
Nepean Blue Mountains NSW 117
Brisbane South QLD 107
South Western Sydney NSW 105
Adelaide SA 104
Perth South WA 104
Brisbane North QLD 100
Western Sydney NSW 98
Gold Coast QLD 97
North Western Melbourne VIC 96
Perth North WA 93
South Eastern Melbourne VIC 90
Australian Capital Territory ACT 89
Central & Eastern Sydney NSW 87
Eastern Melbourne VIC 78
Northern Sydney NSW 62
Source:
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) National Mortality Database (NMD) and Australian Bureau of Statistics ERP at 30 June 2013–2015.

Figure 6: Potentially avoidable deaths (age-standardised), per 100,000 people by metropolitan and regional Primary Health Network areas, 2009–2011 and 2013–2015

The following link expands the table data. Show tabular data Hide tabular data
PHN group Reporting period PHN area name State Persons (Years)
Regional 2013–2015 Northern Territory NT 226
Regional 2009–2011 Northern Territory NT 219
Regional 2013–2015 Western Queensland QLD 194
Regional 2009–2011 Western Queensland QLD 213
Regional 2013–2015 Western NSW NSW 156
Regional 2009–2011 Western NSW NSW 152
Regional 2013–2015 Country WA WA 137
Regional 2009–2011 Country WA WA 151
Regional 2013–2015 Northern Queensland QLD 134
Regional 2009–2011 Northern Queensland QLD 151
Regional 2013–2015 Darling Downs & West Moreton QLD 132
Regional 2009–2011 Darling Downs & West Moreton QLD 142
Regional 2013–2015 Murrumbidgee NSW 130
Regional 2009–2011 Murrumbidgee NSW 133
Regional 2013–2015 Tasmania TAS 130
Regional 2009–2011 Tasmania TAS 136
Regional 2013–2015 Hunter New Eng. & Cent. Coast NSW 129
Regional 2009–2011 Hunter New Eng. & Cent. Coast NSW 132
Regional 2013–2015 North Coast NSW 128
Regional 2009–2011 North Coast NSW 127
Regional 2013–2015 Gippsland VIC 125
Regional 2009–2011 Gippsland VIC 142
Regional 2013–2015 Murray VIC/NSW 121
Regional 2009–2011 Murray VIC/NSW 134
Regional 2013–2015 Country SA SA 120
Regional 2009–2011 Country SA SA 130
Regional 2013–2015 Western Victoria VIC 117
Regional 2009–2011 Western Victoria VIC 131
Metropolitan 2013-2015 Nepean Blue Mountains NSW 117
Metropolitan 2009–2011 Nepean Blue Mountains NSW 117
Regional 2013–2015 Central Qld, Wide Bay & Sunshine Coast QLD 116
Regional 2009–2011 Central Qld, Wide Bay & Sunshine Coast QLD 122
Regional 2013–2015 South Eastern NSW NSW 114
Regional 2009–2011 South Eastern NSW NSW 124
Metropolitan 2013-2015 Brisbane South QLD 107
Metropolitan 2009–2011 Brisbane South QLD 116
Metropolitan 2013-2015 South Western Sydney NSW 105
Metropolitan 2009–2011 South Western Sydney NSW 116
Metropolitan 2013-2015 Adelaide SA 104
Metropolitan 2009–2011 Adelaide SA 117
Metropolitan 2013-2015 Perth South WA 104
Metropolitan 2009–2011 Perth South WA 109
Metropolitan 2013-2015 Brisbane North QLD 100
Metropolitan 2009–2011 Brisbane North QLD 109
Metropolitan 2013-2015 Western Sydney NSW 98
Metropolitan 2009–2011 Western Sydney NSW 111
Metropolitan 2013-2015 Gold Coast QLD 97
Metropolitan 2009–2011 Gold Coast QLD 109
Metropolitan 2013-2015 North Western Melbourne VIC 96
Metropolitan 2009–2011 North Western Melbourne VIC 108
Metropolitan 2013-2015 Perth North WA 93
Metropolitan 2009–2011 Perth North WA 98
Metropolitan 2013-2015 South Eastern Melbourne VIC 90
Metropolitan 2009–2011 South Eastern Melbourne VIC 105
Metropolitan 2013-2015 Australian Capital Territory ACT 89
Metropolitan 2009–2011 Australian Capital Territory ACT 91
Metropolitan 2013-2015 Central & Eastern Sydney NSW 87
Metropolitan 2009–2011 Central & Eastern Sydney NSW 97
Metropolitan 2013-2015 Eastern Melbourne VIC 78
Metropolitan 2009–2011 Eastern Melbourne VIC 87
Metropolitan 2013-2015 Northern Sydney NSW 62
Metropolitan 2009–2011 Northern Sydney NSW 75
2013–2015 All regional PHN areas 129
2009–2011 All regional PHN areas 138
2013–2015 All metropolitan PHN areas 96
2009–2011 All metropolitan PHN areas 106
2013–2015 Australia 108
2009–2011 Australia 117
Notes:
  1. Potentially avoidable deaths are deaths below the age of 75 from conditions that are potentially preventable through individualised care and/or treatable through existing primary or hospital care.
  2. Rates have been age-standardised to facilitate comparisons between populations with different age structures.
Source:
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) National Mortality Database (NMD) and Australian Bureau of Statistics ERP at 30 June 2013–2015.

Variation across local areas

Rates of potentially avoidable deaths are also available for more than 300 local areas called Statistical Areas Level 3 (SA3s) (Figure 7). Across these local areas during 2013–2015, the rate varied by 395 potentially avoidable deaths per 100,000 people, from 48 per 100,000 in Pennant Hills-Epping (NSW) to 443 per 100,000 in Daly-Tiwi-West Arnhem (NT).

There was also variation in the rate of potentially avoidable deaths per 100,000 people across capital cities (Figure 7 continued).

Figure 7: Potentially avoidable deaths (age-standardised), per 100,000 people, across local areas (SA3), 2013–2015

The following is a legend for the maps detailed on this page. The first row shows the various colour ranges, the second is the relevant colour's range value and the third indicates which end is highest and lowest.
NP
48 – 72
73 – 85
86 – 94
95 – 102
103 – 111
112 – 118
119 – 126
127 – 136
137 – 153
154 – 443
Lowest group
Highest group
Primary Health Network boundary
ABS Statistical Area Level 3 (SA3) boundary
Source:
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) National Mortality Database (NMD) and Australian Bureau of Statistics ERP at 30 June 2013–2015.

Figure 7 (cont.): Potentially avoidable deaths (age-standardised), per 100,000 people, across local areas (SA3), 2013–2015

Source:
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) National Mortality Database (NMD) and Australian Bureau of Statistics ERP at 30 June 2013–2015.

Potentially avoidable deaths and health risk factors

Potentially avoidable deaths include both preventable and treatable deaths. Potentially preventable deaths are those that are responsive to preventive health activities such as screening, good nutrition and healthy habits such as exercise.

Potentially avoidable deaths that are preventable may be influenced by a person’s individual health risk factors – attributes, characteristics or exposures that increase the likelihood of a person developing a disease or health disorder.

For example, tobacco use, high body mass, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and high blood pressure have all been shown to have strong links with the development of chronic diseases (AIHW 2016).

Many of these chronic diseases are listed as causes of potentially avoidable deaths, for example, cancer or cardiovascular disease.

Similar to potentially avoidable deaths, regional PHN areas had a higher proportion of people reporting health risk factors than people in metropolitan PHN areas, and the national average.

For more information on health risk factors across PHN areas, refer to the following Healthy Communities reports:

  • Health risk factors in 2014–15
  • Overweight and obesity rates across Australia, 2014–15
  • Tobacco smoking rates across Australia, 2014–15

Detailed data is available for download at Explore the data

The interactive website allows you to compare results for more than 130 health measures including:

  • Adults who smoke tobacco daily
  • Adults who are overweight and obese
  • Hospital admissions for mental health conditions and intentional self-harm
  • GP attendances
  • After-hours GP attendances
  • Child immunisation rates
  • Use of emergency departments.

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